The ongoing ‘struggle’ for Telangana has sparked a turf war within the main political parties in Andhra Pradesh.
Unmindful of whether or not they reach the ultimate goal of securing statehood for the region, everyone involved in this turf war wants to score brownie points and emerge the ‘champion’, or at least be seen as one, in the larger political game of one-upmanship.
"The Telangana agitation is providing a good platform for ambitious politicians to climb the political ladder, while old-timers, mostly in Congress and BJP are using the opportunity to stay afloat in the current tide," observed political commentator T Ravi.
In the separatist Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the self-styled torchbearer of the statehood movement, two young MLAs and cousins – K Taraka Rama Rao (KTR) and T Harish Rao – are battling it out among themselves in the succession war within the outfit. Rama Rao is TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao’s son, while Harish is his nephew.
Given his communication skills as well as command over English, KTR is trying to build a national profile for himself, while Harish seems more focused on the home turf. After his father, KTR has emerged as the only voice of TRS in the national media these days.
In the principal Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDS), senior legislators M Narasimhulu and Errabilli Dayakar Rao are in the forefront of the internal supremacy war.
Interestingly, four MLAs, who recently walked out of the TDP, are also seeking to join the battlefield and be counted.
The BJP has veteran leaders Bandaru Dattatreya, Ch Vidyasagar Rao and N Indrasena Reddy fighting to safeguard their relevance in the entire scheme of things and regain lost glory – their individual as well as that of the party.
Giving them competition is the relatively younger G Kishan Reddy, an MLA and president of BJP’s AP unit.
The list is lengthy in the ruling Congress where the battle is not limited to the Telangana region as such but stretches to the districts.
Topping the Congress’ chart is seasoned leader and Panchayat Raj Minister K Jana Reddy, who even declared that he would become the chief minister of Telangana state if ever it is created.
His younger colleague from Nalgonda district, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, who resigned from the Cabinet last week, has apparently thrown his hat in the ring even as his followers shouted ‘Future CM of Telangana’, when he came into the Assembly to submit his resignation the other day.
Komatireddy, whose younger brother Rajagopal Reddy is a member of Lok Sabha, is doing everything to be seen as the real champion, at least within the state Cabinet, of Telangana cause.
MPs like K Keshava Rao, Madhu Yashki Goud, Ponnam Prabhakar, G Vivekananda and Rajagopal Reddy are not lagging behind in projecting themselves as the contenders.
According to T Ravi, the success of the political leaders would be directly proportional to the success of the agitation.
"The very fate of parties like Congress, TDP and BJP is also linked to the outcome of the vexatious statehood issue," Ravi noted.(PTI)