Political Pickle

TDP’s ugly politics : Leaders resort to name-calling

The politics of Vijayawada and the Telugu Desam has got very ugly. In a Twitter battle that has raged for well over a week now, the latest salvo has been fired by Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas (popularly called Kesineni Nani). On Monday morning, he had a message for his party chief Chandrababu Naidu over Twitter. 

Nani tweeted : “Chandrababu Garu, if you don’t want people like me in the party you can let me know, I will resign as Member of Parliament and also to the Party membership. If you want people like me to continue, please control your pet dog.”

The rude reference is to Buddha Venkanna, TDP MLC with who Nani has been engaged in a turf war over Vijayawada. On 9 July, Nani tweeted “TDP wants taskmasters not showmasters”. Venkanna responded by tweeting that there was no need for opportunists in the party. Nani reacted by tweeting that it is ridiculous that a man who cannot write four sentences, cannot speak four lines has been tweeting.

Also read : The political posturing of Kesineni Nani

The war has become very personal as well. Venkanna alleged that Nani who owned Kesineni Travels that had a flourishing business, plied a number of buses on a single number plate. He also accused Nani of cheating former Lok Sabha speaker, the late GMC Balayogi. Nani retorted by saying he need not take lessons from people who had stolen coconuts from temple, bicycle bells and were involved in financial frauds. 

Ever since the TDP loss in Andhra Pradesh and Nani’s meeting with Nitin Gadkari within a week of the Lok Sabha results (pic below), speculation has been rife that the MP is preparing the grounds for his exit. Though Nani has denied it, many in the TDP feel that by taking on Venkanna who is considered close to Naidu, the Vijayawada leader is provoking the former chief minister to take action. Already four Rajya Sabha MPs of the TDP, two of them considered very close to Naidu, have crossed over to the BJP. 

By bringing in Naidu, Nani wants to convey that the TDP chief no longer has any control over TDP affairs. “Your pet dog” could also be interpreted to mean Venkanna is acting on Naidu’s instructions. 

Inside Track : How the four TDP MPs jumped ship

There is the local angle as well. Elections to the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation are to be held soon and different factions of the TDP want to position themselves to wrest control of the party in the politically critical city. The TDP is still considered politically strong in Vijayawada and the entire Krishna district. 

But the washing of dirty linen in public is only bound to help the ruling YSR Congress politically and exposes the true nature of the public representatives.  

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