As discontent brews, Chandrababu Naidu promises reforms in TDP

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: “In the next three years, we will reform the party in such a way that it will last for another 30 years,” TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu assured his cadre on Monday, the party’s 40th Formation Day. Asserting that none could wipe out the party, the former Chief Minister promised to “promote youth” and exhorted the activists to rededicate themselves to the cause. 

Confident though he sounded, the TDP finds itself at a crossroads four decades after its mercurial rise in State politics. It has seen electoral defeats and victories during this time but the string of defeats since the 2019 Assembly elections, including the unprecedent loss in the recent local elections, is slowly but surely pushing it inexorably towards an existential crisis. 

There are murmurs within the party, growing louder by the day, against the leadership’s tactics, and in fact, rasing a question mark over Naidu’s leadership itself for the first time after he assumed the mantle in the mid-1990s dethroning NTR.  Though there is no imminent threat to Naidu’s leadership, the signs are unmistakable. TDP senior leader and Rajahmundry Rural MLA Gorantla Butchaiah Chowdary claimed on Monday that many changes may take place in the party. “Several people will come. Be it Junior NTR, Balakrishna, Lokesh or people from several communities and regions... leadership will come up from the ground,” he said.

Though Chowdary did not stress on just actor and late NTR’s grandson Jr NTR’s name alone, his statement created a flutter. However, another party leader said the chances of Jr NTR coming into the party were bleak. “We will face the elections in 2024 under the leadership of Naidu,” he asserted. He clarified that no discussions were held in the party about Jr NTR and opined that the actor may not opt for politics at this juncture as he had a bright career in films.

Rumour has it that a section of the TDP leaders has indeed approached the junior but it couldn’t be independently confirmed by TNIE. Going by “inside talk”, it seems the actor may step in at some point to wrest control of the party from Naidu. It could just be a question of when.

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