VIJAYAWADA:  Will the TDP go it alone in the 2019 polls? Though, some leaders feel it is premature to discuss alliances as there is one more year for elections, others opine that it is better for the TDP to prepare to fight alone. At present, the principal opposition YSRC and the BJP have turned bitter rivals of the TDP. Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan, who stood by the TDP-BJP alliance in 2014 polls, too, is targeting the ruling party and Left parties blame the Naidu government for being equally responsible along with the saffron party for the injustice meted out to the State. Despite Chandrababu Naidu’s recent meeting with the national leaders of Left parties in Bengaluru, TDP leaders are not sure whether any alliance with CPI and CPM will benefit it or not and they are also not sure on their stand on alliance as they are already sailing with Jana Sena.

Against this backdrop, TDP leaders are of the view that they should be prepared to face elections alone instead of depending on alliances. In a brief interaction with TNIE at the venue of Mahanadu, several senior leaders opined that despite the fact that satisfaction levels among people have increased and the CM is confident of retaining power, they will have to be very cautious as there is possibility of all the opposition parties targeting the TDP.

A senior leader said the TDP’s decision to snap ties with the BJP and leave the NDA government at the Centre helped the party in shifting the blame for State’s woes to the Centre. “If we continued our relations with the saffron party till elections, we may have suffered a lot in the upcoming elections. But, now, by organising a series of programmes, we are hopeful that the people will not bear no more grudge against the State government and, instead, find the BJP and the opposition parties, which are dancing to the tunes of the Centre, as villains,’’ a senior leader said.

A leader from North Coastal Andhra explained that at one stage opposition parties managed to convince the people about the guilt of the ruling party in not achieving special category status (SCS) in spite of being an ally of the NDA, by making a big issue out of it. But, after the TDP made the SCS as its main demand and left the NDA, they to some extent understood the TDP’s position and its sincere efforts. “We are hopeful the people will stand by us without being carried away by the rants of opposition parties. Minister Kalava Srinivasulu said at present the party was concentrating on strengthening its position in the State and will think of political tie-ups only before elections.

Mahanadu Sidelights

According to the 2017-18 fiscal status report of the TDP, which was submitted by party state treasurer and MLA Sidda Raghava Rao, the party has properties with a net worth of J104.15 crore. Its net income in the previous fiscal was J19.40 crore, while the expenditure stood at J16.73 crore. Of the total expenditure, J6.38 crore was spent on publicity, Raghava Rao said. It maybe recalled that a report published by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), last week, said that TDP had the second highest income (in 2016-17 fiscal) among the regional parties after Samajwadi Party. According the the report, TDP’s 2016-17 income was J72.9 crore.

Heavy traffic jam was witnessed between Benz Circle and VR Siddhartha Engineering College in Kanuru between 9.30 am and 11 am. Even though city police and TDP volunteers were deployed, thousands of vehicles ferrying TDP workers to the venue of Mahanadu sent the traffic for a toss. Beside, indiscriminate parking of two-wheelers and four-wheelers on the road added to the chaos.

The first-ever Mahanadu, an idea conceived and implemented by TDP founder the late N T Rama Rao, was held in Vijayawada in 1983  in the 200 acres where Kamineni Nagar, Ganesh Colony, Sri Ramachandra Colony and others have come up now. Mahanadu Road opposite Dr NTR University of Health Sciences, leading to Autonagar has got its name after it was laid to facilitate the movement of vehicles for the first TDP conclave. Two more conclaves were held in the subsequent years. The Mahanadu, which kicked off on Sunday, is the first one since the State bifurcation.

Ravva kesari, idly, mysore bonda, tomato bath, tea and coffee were served to the party workers as breakfastw. For lunch, about 20 varieties including apple halwa, Madras pakodi, vegetable biryani, kadai vegetable curry, dondakaya fry, mamidiyaka-aakura pappu, mulakaya-tomato curry, stuffed brinjal were spread out. At 3 pm, snacks were also given. On Monday, which also marks the birthday anniversary of TDP founder NTR, more than 20 varieties of food times, favourites of the late leader, will be served at the venue, according to TDP leaders.

The party has put up the model of interlinking of Krishna and Godavari rivers through Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Project at the dais of the venue. The previous Mahanadu held in Visakhapatnam had the models of Polavaram project and Cyber Towers on either side of the dais.

Speaking about elections, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu stressed the need for studying Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). “Technology is always vulnerable to defects. Since we vote only once in five years, we don’t have much knowledge of how EVMs work. So, there is a need to create awareness,” he said and recalled that he was instrumental in ensuring Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system along with EVMs.

At the blood donation camp, close to 220 TDP workers donated blood. Meanwhile, TDP MP Murali Mohan and K Raghu Ramakrishnam Raju donated Rs 5 lakhs and Rs 20 lakhs respectively for the party welfare.

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