Chiru ‘Rajyam’ making inroads into rivals’ base
Kakinada: With the advent of Chiranjeevi’s
Prajarajyam party, the TDP and the Congress are feeling the heat in the twin
Godavari districts with the Telugu Desam forced to chant the backward classes
(BC) mantra to negate the Kapu factor, which would be the decisive factor in the
Making matters worse for the TDP, all Kapu leaders except Chikkala Ramachandra
Rao, in-charge of Tallarevu constituency, and Metla Satyanarayana, in-charge of
Amalapuram constituency, have deserted the party. According to sources, the two
leaders are also keeping their fingers crossed. Asked whether he would jump into
Prajarajyam fold, Satyanarayana told ‘TOI’ that he cannot say that he would not
be switching loyalties to other parties. According to sources, the veteran
leader has been making desperate efforts to join the Prajarajyam party. “Once he
gets the green signal, he won’t remain in the TDP even for one minute,” an
insider said. No wonder, TDP politburo member Yanamala Ramakrishnudu is leaving
no stone unturned to retain the remaining leaders and cadre within the party.
With Chiranjeevi’s party threatening to take away a sizeable chunk of BC votes,
the TDP is on the lookout for new leaders who can lure the BCs. The party’s
attempts to woo BC leader Reddi Subrahmanyam did not materialise either. “With
influential leaders having left the TDP in East Godavari district, the going is
getting tough for TDP president Chandrababu Naidu,” a political analyst said.
Sources said that ever since its formation, the TDP has relied on the BCs for
its political survival.“To some extent, the Congress has made inroads into its
BC vote-bank. But now, the Prajarajyam is threatening to take away both the
parties’ mass base among the BCs,” the analyst reasoned.
District TDP president and MLC Nimmakayala Chinarajappa, who is a Kapu, could
not make much impact on his caste people as many of his followers quit the party
and joined the Prajarajyam. His brother Jaggappa Naidu has already joined the
Prajarajyam. “The TDP’s predicament is understandable. With Chiranjeevi’s
Prajarajyam opening its doors, it is only a matter of time before the entire
Kapu community joins his party,” a source said.
Meanwhile, the Congress, which has been heavily dependent on its traditional
schedule caste vote bank, is making sustained efforts to counter the Prajarajyam
by wooing BCs. To please the BCs, the high command even split the party into
three divisions — Rajahmundry, Kakinada and rest of E Godavari — and
accommodated two BC leaders in top positions.
“It is a tough election for both the Congress and the TDP, more so with the
entry of Prajarajyam. But, the Congress is placed better than the TDP,” an