Desam activists pin hope on Naidu's meeting in Khammam
DECCAN CHRONICLE | A ravindra seshu
Khammam: How far are the efforts by Telugu Desam to regain its lost glory in Telangana bearing fruit? This is the question doing the rounds of the party’s rank and file in Telangana.
The visit and public meeting of TD president Nara Chandrababu Naidu in Khammam on Wednesday is giving a new hope to the party leaders and activists, who, despite odds, are continuing in the party as its committed soldiers despite Naidu's shift of his political base to AP.
TD activists claimed that the TD is a cadre-based party and it has its own vote bank – the third largest, after BRS and the Congress in Telangana.
Naidu Chenna Rao, Dammapet mandal TD unit president, said, "Telugu Desam had a 20 per cent vote share in Telangana till now and the party workers had never gone to the other parties though some leaders did so. We were always in a mood to work for the party, but in recent times, we did not have leaders to guide us in TS. We are trying our level best to give a good image to the party."
There are thousands of TD activists like Chenna Rao in Telangana and they met the former MLAs and other leaders who joined other parties after the 2014 bifurcation of the state, requesting them to return to Telugu Desam. They promised these leaders that they would work for them without seeking any campaign expenses in the coming elections.
K. Pradeep of Khammam, a hardcore TD activist, said the former TD leaders now in other parties "are giving due importance to our initiative." But, "they are silent on coming back to TD."
Some TD leaders in Telangana have tried their best to get back some seniors into the party. At one stage, there were reports that many former party leaders will be rejoining the TD during the public meeting of Naidu. There however are no such signs today.
Talluri Jeevan Kumar, TD state secretary, said, "The positive response from many party workers was unexpected. The activists phoned me, saying they would attend the meeting. All the arrangements are ready for the public meeting in Sardar Patel Stadium. TD activists will be coming from each mandal by hiring 30 to 40 vehicles."
Naidu would be taking the road route from Hyderabad after paying floral tributes to the NTR statue in Rasoolpura in the capital. He would inaugurate NTR statues at two places -- Kesavapuram and Patharlapadu in Khammam district -- and go to Tadepalli in AP by road.
Meanwhile, there is talk in rival parties that Chandrababu Naidu is trying to have a show-off in Telangana with a view to impressing some political parties in Andhra Pradesh.