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Top TDP leader quits for Telangana cause
Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad |
June 23, 2008
By resigning from the Telugu Desam party, 56-year-old Tulla Devender Goud has not only created a political storm, but has also instilled a new life in to the dormant movement for the Telangana movement.
After the debacle of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti in the last month's by-elections, the fortune of Telangana stir had touched a new low.
But Goud seems to have revived their spirits, as reflected by the celebrations across the region especially among university students and political cadres.
A large number of people gathered at Goud's palatial residence in posh Banjara Hills area, bursting crackers, raising slogans and singing songs to hail him for his "brave and bold" move.
Now all eyes are focused on Goud's future political plans. Being a clever strategist, he is keeping his cards close to his chest as of now.
But sources say he may float a new regional political party to claim the Telangnaa legacy from TRS and other parties. The other move being mooted is to float a platform to bring all the pro-Telangana forces together.
It was interesting that among the first leaders to call Goud soon after the announcement of his resignation was the TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Rao congratulated Goud for his decision, opening the possibility of some kind of understanding between the two.
Goud, who shot in to prominence in the state politics when he became the chairman of Ranga Reddy Zilla Parishad on behalf of the TDP, has had a phenomenal growth with in the party first earning the trust of its founder NT Rama Rao and then N Chandrababu Naidu [Images].
Despite hailing from the backward Goud community, Goud became one of the strongest pillars of the party holding important portfolios under NTR as well as Naidu. He had a fairly successful run both as the home and revenue ministers.
Elected to the state legislative assembly for the first time in 1994 from Medchal constituency in Ranga Reddy district, Goud has scored a hat-trick in the Assembly elections proving that he can stand on his own in any battle.
After the resignation of Goud and another former minister E Peddi Reddy, all eyes will be focused on TDP leaders from Telangana like Kadiam Srihari, Ch Rajeshwara Rao, Gutta Sukhinder Reddy, K Venugopala Chary and E Dayakar Rao.
Any more resignation, the panic is certain to grip the TDP in the region.
At the moment, Chandrababu Naidu and other leaders of the party are putting up a brave face. Naidu said that as Goud has taken a final step, there is hardly anything he can do about it. He insists that the core committee on Telangana of the TDP will continue its work and party will decide its stand on the basis of committee report.
K Yerran Naidu, TDP's leader in Parliament, charged Goud with betraying party for his personal interest.
Nagam Janardhan Reddy is out trying to prove that Goud was after all a junior leader compared to many other like him who were there in the party from its inception.
Despite all these efforts to run down Goud by the TDP, his resignation is going to have a far-reaching impact on the political map of Andhra Pradesh.
The TRS can no more claim to have a monopoly over the Telangana movement. The Telangana group with in the Congress party is bound to come under more pressure to either force leadership to take pro Telangana stand or come out of the party.
The Congress Working Committee member G Venkat Swamy, who hails from Telangana has already praised Goud and said, "Senior Telangana leaders of the Congress will also come out of Congress at an appropriate time."
The TDP, which has had pockets of influence in Telangana will be hit hard in the next elections in the absence of any credible leader in the region if it does not take a pro-Telangana stand. The Congress may also think of going in for early elections as the Opposition is lying in a shamble.
Image: Devender Goud waves to supporters after resigning from the party at his residence. A large number of people gathered at Goud's palatial residence in posh Banjara Hills area, bursting crackers, raising slogans and singing songs to hail him for his "brave and bold" move. Photograph: Snaps India