After 40 years, Telugu Desam started measures for revival of party in AP

Deccan Chronicle.  | md ilyas

Nation, Politics

To arrest the drift, the party is now completely concentrating on AP and striving for a revival of the party from the grassroots

TD members participate in 40 years celebrations at Undavalli near Vijayawada on Tuesday. (DC Photo)

VIJAYAWADA: After 40 years of eventful existence, the Telugu Desam is in a tight spot in politics. The party has mostly lost its presence in Telangana while it is struggling for existence in Andhra Pradesh. To arrest the drift, the party is now completely concentrating on AP and striving for a revival of the party from the grassroots.

Founded by the legendary matinee idol NT Rama Rao, the Telugu Desam faced several trials and tribulations. It was the first regional party that became the main opposition party in the Lok Sabha from --1984 to 1989. TD leaders used to proudly claim that this was the only regional party that was cadre-based and hence well-knit.

Political analysts say Naidu is an able administration and this was recognised even by foreign leaders. He was famous for his vision and planning for the United AP state and it was he who developed the money-spinning IT sector in Hyderabad. For the same reason, the people of Andhra Pradesh voted him to power in 2014, hoping that Naidu would be able to build a top-class capital for the residuary state after the bifurcation that year.

In five years, the fate of Naidu and TD had changed and the party lost power via a humiliating defeat in the 2019 general elections. The party also lost the local body elections right from the village panchayat to the zilla parishads and the urban local bodies.

According to political analysts, one way to give a new lease of life to the TD is for Naidu’s son and former minister Lokesh to rise to the occasion and rework on the party’s strategy to regain its popularity. Lokesh has to prove himself as a leader who can work and manage his team on his own without spoon-feeding from his father.

Mindful of the difficult task ahead, the TD has appointed a political consultancy though it had in the past criticised the YSRC when it appointed I-PAC of Prashant Kishor to help Jagan Reddy in the polls.

Political analysts say the fate of TD would depend on the nature of the activities that it would take up in Andhra Pradesh politics in the next two years. If the party is serious about coming back to power, it should focus on peoples’ issues rather than on publicity oriented stunts.

According to party sources, TD is planning to introduce a volunteer system similar to what the YSRC did to mingle with locals and gain their support. The plan is to appoint one party activist for every 50 houses.

Earlier top leaders YS Rajasekhar Reddy, Chandrababu Naidu and Jagan Mohan Reddy won elections after they undertook Padayatras. Following the same methodology, the TD is also planning to launch a Padayatra by Lokesh.

TD used to conduct Mahanadu like a festival to rejuvenate party cadres. But, for the past two years, this was held online due to the Corona crisis. The party would conduct the Mahanadu on May 27, 28 and 29 and a party membership programme throughout the year to attract the masses to the TD.