VIJAYAWADA: A major political drama erupted in Telugu Desam on Saturday with its leaders splitting along caste lines ahead of party chief Chandrababu Naidu visit to Vijayawada on Sunday for a municipal corporation elections campaign. Sensing trouble, the TD high command plunged into action and resolved the unrest within hours.
Telugu Desam MLC Buddha Venkanna, former MLA Bonda Umamaheswara Rao and minority leader Nagul Meera openly revolted alleging domination by Kamma leaders led by Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas alias Nani. They alleged the MP had changed Naidu’s route map to benefit his supporters and gave an ultimatum to Naidu to choose them or the MP.
Internal conflicts within TD in Vijayawada had started emerging right from the selection of candidates. MP Nani is accused of denying corporate tickets to followers of Venkanna and other senior leaders, apart from preferring his daughter Kesineni Swetha as the mayoral candidate. Venkanna accused Nani of indulging in immoral politics. He alleged the MP had earlier sunk the Praja Rajyam Party and is now bent on damaging Telugu Desam.
Umamaheswara Rao claimed Nani has been suppressing BCs, who have been traditional supporters of TD. Nagul Meera said he and other senior leaders of Vijayawada have been sidelined after the middle-rung Nani started suppressing BCs, minorities and other communities by indulging in caste politics.
In a fire-fighting operation towards the same evening, Nani’s daughter Swetha with TD senior leader Nettem Raghuram went to the house of Umamaheswara Rao. Raghuram maintained that Naidu’s campaign route being changed by Nani is a misconception. The change has actually been made by the party high command. He maintained that all leaders will work united for the win of TD in Vijayawada Municipal Corporation elections.
Subsequently, Venkanna, Umamaheswara Rao and Nagul Meera agreed to shun differences and work for the victory of Swetha and other TD candidates.