VIJAYAWADA: TDP cadres do not seem to be overtly enthused over party chief N Chandrababu Naidu’s grand plans to take up a long march in the state in the form of ‘padayatra.’ Although district level leaders feel that yatra will surely help revive the party’s fortunes, cadres are not that sure. Notwithstanding the fact that Naidu is working overtime to improve the party’s performance, the situation at the ground level is not that rosy for the TDP.
Senior leaders too admit that there is an urgent need to enhance the confidence levels among the cadres before facing another election and make them believe that they are really going to win the next election. “It is a fact that the situation has been drastically changing for the past three-four months which the party leadership did not recognise. The cadres are not that confident of the party’s prospects in the next elections,” remarked a senior legislator from the coastal region.
As a result, party cadres have become less serious and not fully responding to the programmes such as agitations on various issues, he said.
“Earlier, we used to dictate even the legislators whenever there is a message from the party headquarters and direct them to carry out programmes without fail. Now, we find clear differences in the tone and tenor of party leaders’ response to our calls,” a senior party functionary, who oversees party office administration, told STOI. Such an atmosphere has also forced the party leadership not to act against even those who crossed the ‘Lakshman rekha’, leave alone those who did not implement the party programmes, he observed.
Citing the examples of open revolt by legislators Kodali Sri Venkateswara Rao ( Nani) of Gudivada and Chinnam Ramakotaiah of Nuzvid, another senior leader said that the party’s failure to press for their disqualification for the fear of facing byelections has sent wrong signals to party cadres. “If we are so scared of facing an election on the home turf of party’s founder president N T Rama Rao at Gudivada, how can we instill confidence among the party cadres that we will romp home in the next election,” asked an exasperated senior leader from Krishna district.
Not only these leaders, the party is yet to move a disqualification petition against Venugopala Chari (Mudhole), Harishwara Reddy (Parigi) and Balanagireddi (Mantralayam), who left the party long ago.
Since there is nearly 18 months to go for the next election, one thumping victory in a byelection from a constituency like Gudivada is what will really help TDP bounce back, analysed a political observer.But the TDP leadership is worried about facing elections as it had lost all the byelections held in the state since 2009 general elections. However, some leaders believe that padayatra is essential in view of the volatile situation in the party. “It is a fact that we are going through a rough phase. This is where Naidu’s padayatra will help us gain confidence of people,” analysed former minister Kodali Sivaprasada Rao.
He observed that Naidu’s padayatra would give required energies to the party ahead of the next elections and make the cadres ready to reclaim power as people were completely vexed with the unruly performance of the Congress government.