Hyderabad: The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh (AP) plans to revive its farmer and other affiliated organisations as part of its efforts to recover from the major loss it suffered at the hands of the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in the 2019 Lok Sabha and state elections.
“Our party affiliated organizations stopped functioning because those who were supposed to lead it were in a bit of disarray, as Chandrababu Naidu was busy with state affairs. We are conducting a major review meeting and internal meeting on 13 August, where all these things will be discussed. Our affiliated bodies need to start working, especially now to mobilise public on various issues," said a senior TDP leader requesting anonymity.
He said many party workers at the ground level were also unhappy with some senior leaders. “On the local level there have been complaints against some people in certain constituencies, about how leaders are functioning. So that also has to be addressed. The upcoming review meeting in Vijayawada will be a major one where all our leaders, including MLAs and MPs will also attend."
One of the reasons the TDP wants to revive its affiliated unions is because it will need their support on issues like Amaravati capital city project – the fate of which seems unclear after the World Bank withdrew its $300 million dollar after the Centre withdrew its request for the same. The TDP is now looking to mobilise farmers who gave up their lands for the project and are worried about their future.
“The party’s total performance in the 2019 polls will be reviewed," said the TDP leader. In the 2019 elections, the TDP won just 23 assembly seats of 175 and just three Lok Sabha seats of 25. The ruling YSRCP won a staggering 151 assembly constituencies and 22 parliamentary seats.
“If you look at Naidu’s history, people call him ‘u-turn Babu’ for a reason. He was leader of the TDP’s student wing during his youth, and later after becoming chief minister (of joint AP in 1995), he said students should only concentrate on studies. Today if BJP is strong across the country, it is because it strengthens its affiliated bodies which help them eventually," said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.
He pointed out that Naidu has always undermined TDP’s affiliated unions whenever he was in power and later expected those to work when he was in the Opposition. “There is also a threat from the BJP, which considers TDP leaders and its cadre as easy pickings now. Earlier, when the TDP was in the Opposition, it came back to power in 2014 due to its strong cadre, so they need to discuss all this in their meeting," he added.