VIJAYAWADA: The shocking loss of the Mahakutami in Telangana pushed the TDP into an introspective mood on Tuesday, quite a shift from the palpable optimistic air prevailing in the TDP camp till the counting of votes began. The party leaders, including Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, had convinced themselves that the Grand Alliance has a realistic chance of upsetting the KCR’s apple cart and as such, the sheer magnitude of the TRS victory came as a rude shock to them.
It has left them wondering about the possible adverse impact of the Telangana results on the party’s fortunes in AP. With an elated TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao mocking and promising a ‘return gift’ to Naidu, several party leaders appeared to be rueing the aggressive poll campaign undertaken by their party chief in Telangana.
However, putting up a brave face, some TDP leaders made light of the Telangana loss. “KCR displayed political acumen and managed to successfully revive the Telangana sentiment. The grand alliance did not have enough time to campaign while KCR was ready for polls three months before,” reasoned senior TDP leader Varla Ramaiah. He dismissed the notion that truck with TDP cost the Congress dear.
“This result might have been even worse if the Congress faces the elections without alliance with TDP,” he claimed, adding that Telangana result would not have any impact on Andhra.
Nonetheless, his party colleague and a senior minister told TNIE that no decision has been taken on having an alliance with Congress in Andhra.
“If any such proposal is put up at the higher level, we need to rethink as the party cadre may not accept any alliance with the Congress. Like MIM and TRS, we could, at best, have a friendly contest,” he opined.
Commenting on Naidu’s campaign in Telangana, which is being cited by some Congress leaders as one of the reasons for the Congress loss, another senior TDP leader observed that Naidu perhaps should not have campaigned so aggressively, pointing out that his aggression provided an opportunity for the TRS to revive the Telangana sentiment and convert the election into a contest between TRS and TDP.
Minister Nakka Anand Babu, on the other hand, justified the alliance with the Congress in Telangana, saying that the TDP joined hands with the party only because the latter had promised special category status to AP.
Interestingly, he said Telangana template won’t be adopted in Andhra. “We will discuss within the party the issue of alliance with Congress in Andhra and take a decision,” he said, indicating a rethink, perhaps.
He also hinted that the party might take a leaf out of KCR’s book and focus more on welfare schemes. “Not many welfare schemes are being implemented in Telangana whereas in AP, an unprecedented development is taking place,” the minister claimed.