For the first time, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu heard voices of rebellion against him and had to move quickly to control them by suspending an MLA.
If party workers, elected MLAs and leaders expressed their displeasure over the Grand Alliance with the TRS and Left parties at the Mahanadu meeting held in the last week of May, in this meeting, they pointed fingers internally. What was left unsaid by many in the TDP after the elections was openly and aggressively conveyed to the party leadership.
The mood for the workshop was set by MLA from Kovur, N Prasanna Kumar Reddy, who wrote a letter to Naidu asking him to step down and make way for NTRs son N Balakrishna. Kumar claimed that Naidu was surrounded by a coterie of yes-men who gave him wrong information and advice. Kumar pointed out that leaders like Srujana Chowdhary, K Prasad, K Ramamohan Rao and former MP K Yerrannaidu were misleading Chandrababu Naidu and the TDP president has lost control over the party. If Naidu had control over the party and steered it well we would have been in power now, said Kumar, who made his letter public.
Former MLA T Srinivas Yadav felt that the pro-Telangana decision of the party had not gone well with the people in the region. I have written to Naidu pointing out that there is no Telangana sentiment and the tie-up with TRS proved disastrous. The Congress has proved that the separate state sentiment does not matter now because the Congress, in spite of not giving any commitment on Telangana, has won 50 seats in Telangana region.. Naidu must take the responsibility for his failure, Yadav said on Saturday.
Another important issue that came up for discussion was the simultaneous assembly and parliamentary polls held in Andhra. Many TDP MLAs and leaders felt that the party lost because Lok Sabha and assembly elections were held simultaneously. Except for 1999, the TDP has never performed well whenever LS and assembly elections were held together, says TDP leader Ramamohan Rao. Giving reasons, Rao said that TDP candidates lost with a margin of 3,000 to 5,000 votes in at least 60 constituencies as the Congress benefited from the simultaneous polls. We won in 1999 because of the tie-up with BJP and there was a wave in its favour in the country. Voting patterns clearly indicate that since the trend was in favour of the Congress and UPA, Congress in the state benefited from it, explains Rao.
Other TDP leaders blamed TRS president K Chandrasekhara Rao for the TDPs electoral reverses, calling him a wily craftsmen who tried to use the TDP for his gains. People of Telangana want development but KCR kept on harping about separate state. The TDP too joined it creating a conflict of interest the TRS chief talking against Andhra-ites settled in Telangana, and TDP wooing voters in rest of Andhra.
In response to a query, Naidu on Saturday said that the trouble in the party was being created by chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy himself. The CM is trying to destabilise the party by luring some MLAs and senior leaders of our party and unfortunately they are falling into his trap. The CM fears a revolt in his own party and is trying to lure MLAs from other parties, Naidu alleged.