Sunday, February 7, 2010


The Telugu Desam party and its supremo N.ChandraBabu Naidu is yet again in an upbeat mood. The party’s active intervention in the flood relief activity stands testimony for this. Unlike in 2004, The TDP immediately recovered from its poll debacle this time. The recent political developments subsequent to the tragic demise of Y.S.Rajashekhar Reddy have propelled the new confidence in the party. Just before the death of YSR, the TDP seems to be in disarray. With the Operation Akarsh underway, the party was finding it difficult to keep its flock together. Despite doubling its strength in the Assembly this time, the party leadership was increasingly seen unable to instill much needed confidence in the party rank and file. Its allies were moving away. Leaders were deserting. But, the politics are like tidal waves which have a potential to rise and fall at any moment. Political currents are giving a new hope for the party. This is of course not without reason. The shrewd politician in Chandra Babu Naidu could smell this before any one could do that. It is too early to say whether these congenial political atmosphere will reap rich dividends for the party at the hustings. But, the party has every reason to cheer at least for now.

First, the political contours of Congress underwent a significant change with the absence of strong and charismatic leader in the form of YS Rajashekhar Reddy. With or without Jagan at the helm of affairs, the Congress is certainly a divided house. Now that Rosaiah’s continuation as Chief Minister is a formal announcement, Jagan camp is working out its own strategy. But, this strategy is proving to be internecine. The forces of self disruptive disintegration in Congress are in full spate. ChandraBabu Naidu can simply wait for the congress men to dig their own hole. The congressmen are known for their perfection in self defeating politics.

Though, the party failed to win the mandate, The TDP remains a formidable position. The by-elections to Tekkali Assembly constituency once again proved its strength. Braving a double sympathy wave, The TDP candidate lost by a insignificant margin only. Even after the electoral reversal, TDP more or less remained intact at the grass roots level, though there were some bickerings here and there. But, these were more than compensated by the homecoming of veterans.

The TDP analysed that its defeat was mainly due to division of anti-government vote. This is only a part of truth. The anti incumbency which it suffered during 2004 polls continued to spill over even in 2009. On the other hand the several welfare measures initiated by the YSR government could eclipse the anti incumbency to a great extent. But on both these accounts, The TDP has a reason to feel comfortable. The acute fiscal situation that is gripping the state makes it difficult for the congress government to continue with these welfare schemes. The signals are already clear. After punishing the party twice, the people may for get the TDP’s wrong doings committed when it was in power.

Prajarajyam continue to remain in political wilderness .The party is in no mood to build upon the 17 percent vote share it received. Several leaders including MLA’s are on the border line waiting for an opportune moment to cross over. The Prajarajyam neither has a strategy nor has a programme to consolidate. As a result, the PRP is bound to loose what ever shine it has. This is evident even in Tekkali by-elections.

The Loksatta got sizable vote in some pockets. But, the party is also witnessing internal turmoil. Will the idealism long last. This is a million dollar question. Some clues will be available after the Hyderabad municipal elections. But, the things are not highly encouraging for Loksatta.

Given the state of affairs in other opposition parties, The TDP hopes to retain Left support. The BJP is increasingly being humbled by the electorate all over the country. The party is bogged down in a serious leadership tussle.

Thus the overall political waters seem to be providing renewed hope for the TDP. YSR specialized in bowling googlies and bouncers on TDP on a daily basis. This used to preoccupy TDP supremo in an incessant war of words. ChandraBabu Naidu need not squander away his energies on this any more. The congress men will not find time as they will be busy in inflicting self goal. Though TRS is trying hard to make headway, it is still far from reviving its past glory.

But, all this does not mean automatic windfall for TDP. There is always a slip between cup and the lip in politics. But, atleast there are enough reasons for the TDP to be in enthusiastic mood.

This article is originally written for Deccan Post


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