Two former ministers in Andhra Pradesh—Vatti Vasanta Kumar and C. Ramachandraiah have resigned from the Congress on Saturday, protesting against the party aligning with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
As per reports, this decision made by the former ministers is the consequence of Congress president Rahul Gandhi joining hands with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu “on the pretext of dethroning the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of Narendra Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll”.
On Saturday (November 3), Ramachandraiah said, “Naidu has abused the Congress party in the strongest term in the past, he rebuked Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and even engineered protests in Guntur when he came there. How can Rahul then ignore Naidu’s dirty politics and shake hands with him?”
He further criticised Rahul for admitting former chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy back in the Congress fold, even though Reddy had openly defied the Congress leadership and vilified it from public platforms.
“The Congress has neither ideological strength nor a future at least in Andhra Pradesh,” added Ramachandraiah.
While the TDP and Congress have joined hands to fight the assembly election in Telangana jointly against the ruling TRS (Telangana Rastra Samithi), some Congress leaders are worried that the same may happen in Andhra Pradesh.
According to Vasanta Kumar, the prospects of Congress have improved in Andhra Pradesh but the latest developments were “suicidal”.
However, other senior leaders in the Congress are in full support of their President, stating that the alliance will not have any adverse impact on the party and instead, it would intensify the presence of the party in the State, which has lost most of its rank and file after the State bifurcation.
Although Ramachandraiah claims that it was his individual decision to quit the party and was unaware that others would follow suit, those in the know of things with the Congress predict that many more leaders might egress from the grand old party in the State.
The former Leader of Opposition in the State Legislative Council expressed, “Many senior Congress leaders in AP, including APCC president N Raghuveera Reddy, are not happy in the Congress’ unilateral decision to join hands with the TDP in Telangana. We have joined hands with those who weakened the party in the State.”
The Congress has remained dejected in the state since the 2014 elections. Several party members had migrated to other parties, notably the TDP and the Yvajana Sramika Rythu (YSR) Congress, with a few to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as others stayed on in the hope that the Congress will be born again as a party based on its ideological strengths. Now, despondent and despaired with the latest developments, some have set their sights on the Jana Sena.
Another ex-minister S Sailajanath, who is also bracing to resign from the party, is poised to join the Jana Sena of actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan.
Chandrababu Naidu at a teleconference on Friday attempted to console and convince the sections in TDP opposing the understanding with the Congress, describing it as a “democratic compulsion” in order to protect the party and safeguard the interests of the state from the Modi regime.