Jun 23, 2008

TDP In Major Setback

In a major setback to the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh, senior leaders and former ministers T. Devender Goud and E. Peddi Reddy resigned from the party Monday. Protesting the party’s delay in taking a clear stand on the issue of a separate Telangana state, Goud sent his resignation to party president N. Chandrababu Naidu Monday morning.

Goud, who was number two in the party and served as home minister in the previous TDP government, was unhappy with the party leadership for not taking a pro-Telangana stand.

His personal assistant delivered the resignation letter to NTR Trust Bhavan, the party headquarters. Goud also resigned as member of the state legislative assembly.

Soon after, Peddi Reddy, also a former minister, sent his resignation to the party president and said he would work for the movement to achieve separate statehood for the region.

Several party leaders, demanding a pro-Telangana stand, were also likely to resign. Senior leader and legislator Kadiam Srihari, party vice-president G. Sukhender Reddy, former union minister S. Venugopalachary and former legislator Muthyam Reddy are expected to put in their papers.

The resignations shocked the TDP at a time when it was gearing up for the forthcoming polls to the state assembly and Lok Sabha and Naidu was on a state-wide tour.

Naidu, who is currently in Srikakulam district, held talks with his aides to review the situation arising out of resignations.

Reacting to the developments, TDP parliamentary party leader K. Yerran Naidu said it would have no impact on the party.

Goud had raised his voice in favour of a separate Telangana state earlier this month when the party was celebrating its good performance in by-elections to 18 assembly and four Lok Sabha seats. The TDP wrested one Lok Sabha and four assembly seats from the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS).

Ignoring Naidu’s directive to all leaders not to make their views on the sensitive issue public, Goud, Peddi Reddy and some others demanded that the party take a pro-Telangana stand before next year’s polls.

Goud and his supporters were unhappy over Naidu loyalists ‘humiliating’ him. The senior leader from Ranga Reddy district was also sidelined in the first meeting of TDP’s core committee on Telangana, held in Vizianagaram district June 18.

Goud was a member of the five-member committee formed in April to look into the issue. Naidu, who presided over the first meeting, had said the party would take an “appropriate decision at an appropriate time”.

Naidu, who was chief minister from 1995 to 2004, had even remarked that resignation of some leaders would have no impact on the party.