TDP, Cong begin campaign against Chiranjeevis party to keep flock intact

New Delhi, Aug 28 | Updated: Aug 30 2008, 04:59am hrs
Apparently worried over Telugu Superstar Chiranjeevi's entry into politics, the major mainstream parties in the state - the Congress and the TDP - have started attempts to block the exodus of their cadres and leaders to Praja Rajyam and started campaigns against the Praja Rajyam by claiming that the party offered nothing new to the people. A number of senior leaders from the TDP have already joined the Chiranjeevi camp. Though minimal, Congress is also feeling the heat and some of its leaders, including a Lok Sabha MP, have joined the party.

However, both the parties argued that they would not suffer because Chiranjeevi's party has no "clear" agenda. Both the parties also said the new party will have no impact on their electoral fortunes. The state is going to elections in 2009, along with the general elections.

"Some leaders, whom we could not accommodate, have joined the Chiranjeevi camp. But he has offered nothing new to the people. If he can do any damage to the existing equations, then Congress would be at the receiving end. The people of the state have suffered a lot because of the misrule of the present government. Opposition parties including Left and TDP are united in fighting the Congress," senior TDP leader Rammohan Rao told FE.

The Congress had already said that only TDP will suffer because of the emergence of Chiranjeevi. "This could dent the support base of the TDP not that of Congress," Congress leader M Veerappa Moily had told reporters here adding that in a polarised political atmosphere, the Congress would emerge stronger.

Given the organisational constraints for the TDP, political observers say that it would be the TDP that is going to hit badly by the Praja Rajyam. Already a number of TDP leaders have joined Praja Rajyam, when the exodus from Congress is minimal.

However, the Kapu community, to which Chiranjeevi belongs to, has been backing the Congress traditionally. So the super star's party could dent the Congress's support base among Kapus.

The Left parties, who have a considerable presence in the state, are also watching the situation keenly. A CPI(M) leader told FE that coming up of more political parties is going to benefit the CPI(M) as votes would get divided in the coming elections.