Vijayawada: A video of Telugu Desam sate president K Atchannaidu predicting doomsday to the party and ridiculing the leadership of TD general secretary Nara Lokesh went viral in social media on Tuesday.
The veteran TD leader was seen saying: “17th tarvata (Tirupati bypoll day) andaru khaleeye.. party ledu bokka ledu (everyone in the party will be free after April 17 as party will have no future). We are carrying on with the party as we are associated with it from the very beginning.”
The video has surfaced as a major embarrassment to the principal Opposition party, which is facing shock after shock in the series of elections –the 2019 assembly poll defeat, followed by the worst drubbing in the civic polls.
The party is seen losing its confidence as is also evident from the decision by party chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu to keep the TD out of the Zilla and Mandal Parishad polls. The poll boycott has further demoralized the party cadre and raised doubts over the future of the party.
Notably, the present video got leaked a few days before the Tirupati bypoll.
The video, apparently shot with a secret camera, carried a conversation between Atchannaidu and a TD leader Venkat Rao. Their chat began over a land deal in Hyderabad and payment thereof, but went on to other matters and the party president making sensational observations about the party and Lokesh’s leadership.
Atchannaidu told Deccan Chronicle dismissively, “Too many people are indulging in mischievous things and this could be one of it.”
He tweeted that the video was the handiwork of chief minister Jagan who, he said, was resorting to “stone throwing and circulating a distorted version of my conversation,” out of fear of the YSRC losing the Tirupati bypoll.
“Nobody can spoil my relationship with Lokesh,” he said.
Taking potshots at Atchannaidu, municipal administration minister Botsa Satyanaranayana said he could have openly announced that TD would be shut very soon, but “he being the president of the AP unit, he may have limitations and could share his anguish only with his own party leaders.”
The conversation begins with Venkat Rao complaining to Naidu that Lokesh was neglecting his repeated request to help him get Rs3 crore from builder KL Narayana, though Chandrababu Naidu and film actor Balakrishna had promised to help him out.
When Rao said Lokesh did not receive him properly when he went to meet him, the TD state president was seen saying, “ippudu andariki ante. Yevvariki vinadam ledu. Evari badhalu vallavi” (Lokesh is not listening to anyone. We are all having issues).
Reacting to Rao repeatedly complaining against Lokesh, the TD state president said, “aa manishulu baagunte party ki ee paristhiti enduku vuntundi”
It was an open secret in political circles that Atchannaidu and Lokesh have strained relations and the latter tried to halt the appointment of the several-time MLA from Srikakulam district as party president for AP.
Atchannaidu had been arrested by the Jagan-led state government in a corruption case a few months ago.