Visakhapatnam: The three-day Mahanadu of the ruling Telugu Desam Party drew to a close on Monday on a grand note. Heavily laden with speeches, the grass roots left for their home towns, having soaked in the sweat for at least two days in the sultry coastal weather.
The Mahanadu formally re-elected Chandrababu Naidu as the party’s national president for a second consecutive term. The meeting was a huge success in terms of turnout which principally constituted the foot soldiers of the party.
However, it is generally expected that a political organisation whose mass base is spread across two States and whose role in the national politics is significant, will have a political resolution on the current political situation and on a likely or unlikely political alliance in the upcoming elections in 2019, particularly with its present ally BJP.
The overseer of Mahanadu activities Ganta Srinivasa Rao stated, just a day before the start of the meeting, an all-important political resolution would be taken up on the third day. His statement remained a damp squib with nothing such significant development taking place on the concluding day. The resolution, contrary to the expectations of political observers, extended support to the PM’s proposed simultaneous elections, praised setting up of Niti Aayog and welcomed GST, among other issues.
It is expected that the issue of alliance with BJP would come up for discussion in Mahanadu following BJP’s national president Amith Shah’s visit to AP. The TDP supremo is well aware of the fact that Shah’s visit was aimed at strengthening the BJP in Andhra Pradesh.
Earlier in the month, Naidu’s arch rival Jagan Mohan Reddy met Modi and announced his support to the BJP’s presidential probable, taking TDP unawares. Modi’s appointment to Jagan raised suspicions about the political alliance between TDP and BJP in the State. The rumours that did rounds went to the extent that Modi will go in with YSRCP. Whether or not he will do so is a different matter altogether, but the placards displayed before the party supremo Amit Shah at Mahasammelan in Vijayawada clearly pointed to the dissent in the State unit of BJP over alliance with Telugu Desam. The BJP members exhibited their wish to sever ties with TDP in order for their party to get strengthened in the State.
Incidentally, the BJP national president told journalists in an informal chat on Sunday( just a day before Mahanadu was to take up an all-important political resolution )that a decision regarding the alliance between the BJP and the TDP would only be made just two months ahead of the 2019 polls.
Considering these developments, it was expected that a debate would take place in Mahanadu leading to adopting a resolution that it would be ready to sever ties with BJP, if it tilts towards YSRCP. Naidu, as always, remained quiet and eventually preferred to toe the same line that Shah adopted. He opted for continuing friendly ties with BJP despite a steadily growing dissent in BJP over tie-up with TDP. Sans a concrete resolution on the matter, the issue of alliance with its not-so-good friend was appeared to have been left to the discretion of the party’s supremo.
On the other hand, the TDP stepped up its criticism against Jagan as if to check any effort by BJP to have a tie-up with YSRCP. Party’s fledgling leader Nara Lokesh described Jagan as ‘Dongabbai’ (thief) in his address at Mahanadu. He charged Jagan with obstructing development in the State.
This being so, the three-day event was boasted by the party chief as the one which would forever remain in history. Other than bragging about the various schemes he took up and is taking up, lauding NTR as a legendary politician and a thespian and finally getting formally elected as the national president of the party, Naidu did not promote a much-needed discussion in Mahanadu on the issues of political importance. The speeches in support of resolutions centred round Chandrababu Naidu and his vision. As a critic remarked, a public meeting would have been suffice for revealing government schemes rather than a Mahanadu where in lower rung leaders and cadre were expected to have their voice heard on all-important matters. After all, it is the idea behind holding an annual or biennial conference or a plenary be it TDP or any political organisation.