Family feud threatens Naidu's fortunes
Hyderabad: Telugu Desam Party president Chandrababu Naidu is facing a sort of revolt from within the family as well as outside. Sheer greed, the lure of power, opportunism and unbridled ambition on the part of some of the leaders and non-leaders have been creating problems for Naidu who has been straining every nerve and campaigning in hot sun to keep the party in a fighting mode.
Harikrishna and Balakrishna, the Nandamuri brothers, who sided with their brother-in-law as against their father in the 1995 palace coup, have been, of late, embarrassing the TDP supremo on every possible occasion.
Harikrishna did not attend the TDP Politburo meeting on Friday. It was a clear signal that Harikrishna and his son junior NTR are in no mood to be persuaded by Naidu to remain in the family fold and help him get back to power in 2014.
They feel neglected and insulted. Naidu's carefully orchestrated strategy of having the members of NTR's extended family, which includes two charismatic cine actors, with him in his fight against YSRCP and the Congress has been crumbling on account of three important factors while the three principal actors are Harikrishan, Balakrishna and Jaganmohan Reddy.
Junior NTR's dissatisfaction with Naidu and his perceived estrangement has been making his followers and friends restive. The belligerent behavior of Nani, TDP MLA of Gudivada, and Vamsi, a TDP candidate in Vijayawada Lok Sabha constituency in 2009 elections, is a sign of things to come.
Jaganmohan Reddy, YSRCP chief, has been cleverly using the differences in Naidu's camp to his advantage and causing discomfiture to his rival- in- chief. Jagan could drive a wedge between Vamsi and Naidu with an offer of a ticket to fight for Gannavaram Assembly seat in the next elections.
Nani has been expressing his displeasure by meeting Vangaveeti Radha at midnight two weeks ago and by joining the Congress leaders in celebrating the decision on Bandar port along with Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy while the TDP leaders were demonstrating against the government.
Growing rivalry between Balakrishna (Babai) and junior NTR(Abbai)is creating a rift in Krishna district TDP where the junior actor has two staunch supporters in Vamsi and Nani. Balakrishna's fans reportedly carried on negative publicity through SMS when junior NTR's film 'Dammu' was released recently.
Balakrishna himself wants to become chief minister after the 2014 elections. He is a staunch believer in horoscope predictions. Some experts made him believe that he is destined to become chief minister after next elections.
He has been expressing his desire openly and his recent enthusiasm in getting tickets to his followers to fight the forthcoming by-elections and promising to campaign for them and taking up responsibility for their victory is an indication of Balayya's determination to become a chief minister.
He regards junior NTR as a threat to his ambition and treats the latter with contempt. Junior NTR's strategy is to help Jaganmohan Reddy capture power in 2014 and try his luck in 2019.
If TDP wins in the next elections, it would be either Naidu or Balakrishna who would become chief minister and it would be difficult for him in 2019.
If TDP loses for the third consecutive election, Naidu will be forced to retire and the party would be in disarray when junior NTR could don the role of a savior and lead the party at the hustings five years later to take on Jagan who would by then, hopefully, become unpopular.
Junior NTR has been talking loud about his leadership qualities, charisma and his resemblances to his grandfather, senior NTR, with his friends and it reached Naidu's ears.
The TDP chief is understood to have recognized junior NTR as a potential threat to his son Lokesh who is itching to enact an Akhilesh as soon as possible.
Thus junior NTR has become a pain in the neck for both Naidu and Balakrishna even though it is too early for him to give up his film career and think of a role in politics. Naidu feels bad about the attitude of the boy whom he brought into NTR's family fold and got him married to his niece.
Lastly, Jaganmohan Reddy's YSRCP has become attractive to many of the TDP leaders who are unhappy with Naidu. They see YSRCP as a winning horse.
They cannot possibly join the Congress because it is an established party in which all positions are filled. They can try their luck in the new party where getting a ticket to fight elections would be that much easier.
Mysoora Reddy, for instance, is likely to jump on the bandwagon of the son of his friend and mentor, YS Rajasekhara Reddy. Ummareddy Venkateswarlu, a former professor turned politician, is not hiding his uneasiness with the party which made him a minister and a member of Lok Sabha.
The Politburo member was expecting to be given a Rajya Sabha seat. Uppuleti Kalpana, another Politburo member, also is moving towards YSRCP. But the problem from within the family is far greater than the one from outside. Naidu has to pay special attention to resolve this issue at least after the by-polls.
News Posted: 6 May, 2012
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