TD Reshuffles District Leaderships, Eyes Community Vote Bank
DECCAN CHRONICLE | P.V. Prasad
Kurnool: Getting set for the upcoming elections, the Telugu Desam has strategically changed some of its district leaderships by appointing leaders from numerically strong backward communities (BCs) to key slots.
The ruling YSRC, on the other hand, has focused on community representation by allocating the Kurnool mayor's post to B.Y. Ramaiah, the party president for Kurnool district. In a similar vein, the TD recently appointed MLC B.T. Naidu, from the Valmiki community, as the party’s district president.
In Nandyal, the TD has chosen Mallela Rajasekhar Goud, a leader from the BC category, as its district president.
There are two parliamentary and 14 Assembly segments in Kurnool and Nandyal districts. The Valmiki Boya community, comprising 30 per cent of the voters in Kurnool district, can collectively sway the outcome of any election.
Advocate B.T. Naidu contested the 2009 and 2014 general elections from the Kurnool parliamentary segment and served as chairman of the AP Valmiki Federation. He later became an MLC from the MLA quota.
In Mantralayam constituency, leaders of the Valmikis have raised concern over the BC ticket allocation. TD candidate Balanagi Reddy won this seat in 2009 but he later switched to the YSRC, winning both the 2014 and 2019 elections.
In Aluru segment, the TD faced continuous defeats due to internal fights. The groups of Veerabhadra Goud and Mallikarjuna Chowdary, both key leaders, did not participate in the Telugu Desam Bus Yatra, further complicating the age-old rivalries.
Former MLA Kotla Sujathamma is set to contest the Assembly election, but dissident leaders have thrown a spannel into her wheels by saying they would not back her. In Adoni, former MLA Meenakshi Naidu (Kamma) and G. Krishnamma (BC) represent separate factions in the opposition, while rivalries between former minister Akhila Priya and A.V. Subbareddy persist in Nandyal district.
Within the TD, a faction led by former deputy CM Krishna Murthy insists on allocating the TD ticket in Dhone to the BC community. However, Chandrababu Naidu has announced the name of Dharmavaram Subbareddy as the party's candidate for the constituency.