Is CBN Losing Grip? Open Revolts In TDP Become Routine

Chandrababu Naidu who has been leading the TDP for 22 years with an iron hand appears to be losing grip as open revolts by senior party leaders has become the order of the day.

Amaravati: The outburst of three-time Mo and Dalit leader Siva Prasad at Tirupati on Friday against the leadership of the ruling TDP has sent shockwaves across the party. The MP has chosen Ambedkar’s birth anniversary to mount an attack on AP Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu (CBN).

There is dissent and resentment that continues, even more vociferously, this time in the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Perhaps this is for the first time that there is such an open resentment among the party leaders across the 13 districts of the State. Though CBN), president of the party, could keep his folks together and clip their wings in the 23 districts of the undivided State, he now seems to have lost control over the ranks as the dissent voices are heard every day from some corner of the State or the other. All these developments raise doubts over Chandrababu Naidu ability to keep the party united. He is not as assertive this time as he was in his earlier stint.

The Cabinet expansion had seen more dissidence and open defiance of the leader across the State. In fact, for the first time CBN had taken more than 24 hours in consultations to expand his Cabinet, which was not the case earlier. This time, he was rather forced to sit with Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu to rejig his Cabinet and hold consultations with the aspirants. There was open outburst by the party senior leaders, right from seniors like Gorantla Butchaiah Chowdary, Dhulipalla Narendra Kumar, Bojjala Gopalakrishna Reddy and Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy, to the juniors like Bonda Umamaheswara Rao, Anitha and others. While the aspirants were more vocal in expressing their dissent, those who were dropped from the Cabinet were seen denigrating CBN in the presence of their supporters. This kind of expression of dissent against CBN was not seen in his earlier term. Surprisingly, Chandrababu Naidu took again 24 hours time to finalise portfolios of the Ministers after reshuffle, which would have been completed by the evening of day when the oath was given.
Now, there is open revolt against the leadership of CBN. A three-time MP from Tirupathi, N Sivaprasad grabbed an opportunity to target CBN’s dispensation. He spoke at the Ambedkar Jayanti celebrations in the temple town where the leader found fault with the government and the Chief Minister for diverting the funds from the SC Sub-Plan. The MP’s open outburst exposes how the Chandrababu Naidu’s dispensation had diverted funds from the SC Sub-Plan to the popular schemes likes Chandranna Kanuka for the festivals.

In the nighbouring Kadapa district, the SC Cell leaders of the TDP are on hunger strike right at the NTR statue alleging injustice being done to them. The TDP leaders led by Elia, Vijayalakshmi, Meenakshi are on hunger strike seeking justice – recognition – for the SCs in the party for their services.

While this dissidence or the expression of resentment by the leaders is from within the party to doubt the firm grip that CBN has there is another point in the administrative side as well. His control over the bureaucrats has been found weakened in several occasions. Perhaps for the first time, CBN could not transfer the senior Babus (IAS & IPS officers) in the State as per his wish even after 48 hours. He had been working on the major reshuffle of the bureaucrats that would be his 2019 election team in administration and it is more than 48 hours back that he started the exercise. He is under pressure or rather undecided on the transfers of the officers as he used to do it in one day in one stroke in his previous stint. Something has happened to CBN’s confidence levels that has stymied his style.


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