VISAKHAPATNAM:There is an intense fight to capture the Telugu Desam Party urban and rural president posts. Elaborate arrangements have been made to elect new party chiefs Sunday at 10.30 am.
Though Urban Unit sitting president Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar (Visakhapatnam South MLA) and Rural Unit president G Ramanaidu are in the forefront to retain their posts, chances are dim for both the leaders. As the party continues to be in the saddle for the next four years, there are a number of leaders who threw their hat in the ring and are relying on their horoscope. As there is no unanimity among the MLAs and ministers Ganta and Ayyanna, party heavyweight and Finance minister and district in-charge minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu will play a vital role in tilting the scales in the keen contest. The selection of the city unit president will be critical as elections to the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation are round the corner.
Besides sitting president Ganesh Kumar, senior leaders T Harshavardhan, Peela Srinivas and SA Rahman are in the race for heading the urban wing. Rahman seems to have bleak chances as he has deserted the party in the past. The local cadre is against Rahman as he hopped from the Praja Rajyam to Congress and is now back to the TDP. The party workers pleaded with the high command not to give any chance to the re-admitted leaders. However, some of the leaders quoted Ganta Srinivasa Rao’s re-entry and enjoying the ministerial post as an example. As a veteran and representing the minorities, Rahman is pulling out all the stops to be back in the saddle.
Another leader T Harshavardhan, who is a very senior leader known to have worked through party’s troubled times is facing indifference from the cadre as he is not a mass leader. On the other hand Peela Srinivas is a strong contender for the post and has gained the support of a group of MLAs and has the community support.
“In view of the GVMC elections, the party will consider various issues, including community, financial muscle, non-controversial and chances of leading the party to victory. If Rahaman is not considered, there are good chances for Gajuwaka MLA Palla Srinivasa Rao who is highly educated, non-controversial and has strong community base. However, all these are speculations. Yanamala is coming with sealed cover and the name of the lucky person will be announced any time tonight,” one of the TDP MLAs opined. For the rural wing, the chances for sitting president G Ramanaidu seem gloomy. According to sources, the party high command had already decided to replace Ramanaidu.
The whisper is that senior leader Pappala Chalapati Rao, Chodavaram Sugar Factory chairman Mallu Naidu and Yelamanchili Assembly constituency in-charge Sudarapu Vijaya Kumar are in the forefront for the rural president post.
During the past one year, Ramanaidu was involved in several controversial issues and did not maintain rapport with the seniors and the MLAs. Though he held the party flag high during the Congress regime, majority of the leaders are opposing his candidature. Sundarapu Vijaya Kumar, who was denied the MLA ticket at the last minute in 2014 general elections, is an alternative. However, another senior leader Pappala Chalapati Rao is waiting in the wings.
“The TDP lost three constituencies of Araku, Paderu and Madugula in 2014 elections and the party is very weak in the agency area. However, there is no worthy leader to be chosen for the post from the agency area. Chodavaram MLA KSN Raju fits the bill if the MLAs prop up his name. Lalam Bhaskara Rao is a big leader in the reckoning but his wife Bhavni is a ZP chairperson. Ganta may not oppose if Palla or Peela is nominated for the urban post. Minister Ayyanna may opt for Sundarapu Vijaya Kumar for the rural post,” one of the strong supporters of Yanamala Ramakrishunudu analysed.
- Urban wing: Rahman, Vasupalli, Peela Srinivas and MLA Palla Srinivas.
- Rural wing: Sundarapu Vijaya Kumar, Pappala Chalapati Rao, Mallu Naidu, Lalam Bhaskara Rao and MLA KSN Raju.