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Telangana issue: Rebellion brews in TDP
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June 21, 2008 17:00 IST

As the Telangana sentiments continue to be on the boil with in the Telugu Desam Party and the senior party leader T Devender Goud is pondering over his next move, there are several other top leaders of the TDP from Telangana region who needs to be watched closely.

Even as the beleaguered TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu [Images] is trying to bulldoze Goud by pitting several other leaders against him, more and more senior leaders from Telangana region are coming out in support of Goud.

They include a veteran like Ch Rajeshwara Rao, former minister and Dalit leader Kadiam Srihari, former minister E Peddi Reddy, former Union minister P Venugopala Chary, Gutta Sukhinder Reddy, C Mutyam Reddy and E Dayakar Rao belonging to different districts of the region.

If all these leaders with their supporters quit the TDP in mass, it will be as good was TDP getting wiped out from the map of Telangana, which was once the stronghold of the party.

Devender Goud, known as clever strategist, is maintaining an enigmatic silence busy in consultations with his supporters, mulling two options of either joining the proposed party of film star Chiranjeevi [Images] or launching his own regional party.

Sources close to him say that in case he opts for launching his own party, his long term plan is to have an electoral alliance or understanding with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti to defeat both the Congress and the TDP in the next elections.

Leaders to watch:

  1. Ch Rajeshwara Rao: In an indication that these Telangana leaders were quiet serious in taking on Chandrababu Naidu, Ch Rajeshwara Rao defied the party president and made a statement to the effect that party had no option but to take a pro-Telangana line.

    Rajeshwara Rao, who had quit the CPI to join the TDP before 2004 elections, is no pushover. His voice is heard respectfully and has his own following.

    Presently, he represents Sircilal constituency of Karimnagar district in assembly. In a telling comment, he said: "From my heart, I have always been an integrationist (pro united Andhra Pradesh) but after seeing the injustice with Telangana by the Congress government I am forced to demand Telangana."
    Future: Likely to quit the TDP to join Devender Goud if he forms a new party. His name is being proposed to head the new party.

  1. Kadiam Srihari: Recently elected to the state assembly from Station Gahnpur constituency in Warangal district, this Dalit leader is one of the senior-most figures of the TDP in the region.

    Srihiari, who held several important portfolios in TDP governments in the past, has come out openly in favour of Telangana. In his latest statement, he said there were many leaders in the party, who supported the demand for Telangana.

    He also has warned that if the party does not take a decision in favour of Telangana, it will be disastrous in the next elections.

  1. E Dayakar Rao: Elected to Parliament in recent by election from Warangal on the slogan of 'Jai Telangana', is a surprise in the pack.

    Deemed to be a close confidante of Chandrababu Naidu, Dayakar Rao is of the view that party can not go back after declaring that it respect the Telangana sentiment.

    He feels that those who raised the slogan of Telangana in the recent by leaders will lose their respect and credibility in the eyes of the people if they change their position now.

  1. Gutta Sukhinder Reddy: The vice president of the TDP from Nalgonda district. He has already been issued a show cause notice for his alleged role in the defeat of TDP candidate in by election to the Aler assembly constituency. He has also aligned himself with Devender Goud on Telangana issue

  1. K Venugopala Chary: A Brahmin leader from Adilabad district, Chary was elected to the Parliament twice and also served in United Front government. He was defeated in 2004 as well as in the recent by-elections. He feels that it will be end of the road for the party if it does not take a clear stand in support of Telangana by 2009 polls.

With so many leaders up in arms, Naidu is finding himself caught between devil and the deep sea.

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