The storm brewing in the T cup enveloped the TDP on Monday with at least one MLA from the region deciding to quit and join the TRS amid indications that more are likely to follow suit.
Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, TDP MLA from Banswada in Nizamabad district, said the people of the region including those from his constituency were not convinced with the ‘two-eyes’ policy of TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu by which the party chief has been insisting that Telangana and Andhra were like his two eyes and that he would not forsake one for the other.
"Bowing to the wishes of the workers and people of my constituency that the TDP is not sincere on the issue of Telangana, I have decided to quit and join the TRS. I will meet Naidu in Hyderabad on Tuesday and announce my decision," Srinivas Reddy told . According to sources, the former minister and three-time MLA will resign from the TDP as well as from the assembly. Srinivas Reddy took his decision after holding day-long meetings with his party workers and supporters in his constituency on Monday. Srinivas Reddy joined the TDP in 1984 and was elected MLA from Banswada for the first time in 1994 followed by a second term in 1999 during which period he served as panchayat raj minister. He lost in 2004 but returned to the assembly in 2009.
Stung by his decision, Naidu first spoke to the MLA over phone and later deputed party leaders N Janardhan Reddy, R Chandrasekhar Reddy and L Ramana among others to convince him to change his mind. However, according to sources, Srinivas Reddy was firm on quitting the TDP.
Two other TDP MLAs, S Venugopoalachary (Mudhole, Adilabad district) and Suddala Devaiah (Choppadandi, Karimnagar) also held meetings with their party workers and supporters on Monday but told the media in the evening that they had no plans to quit. However, according to sources, Devaiah is waiting for the right opportunity to join TRS.
In fact, almost all the 39 TDP MLAs from Telangana are under tremendous pressure from their constituents to join the TRS. Some leaders have already warned Naidu that unless he decided to follow the example of the TRS and BJP and boycott the all-party meeting with Union home minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi on Jan 6, he would be faced with a certain revolt from the party MLAs in the region.
However, as of Monday evening, Naidu was still said to be trying to finalise two names of party leaders to depute to the all-party meeting. "The TDP chief is in a fix. If he boycotts the meet, the cadres in the other two regions will be up in arms. And if he does not, those from the T region are sure to revolt," said a party insider.
In fact, even the Congress MLAs from the Telangana region have been under pressure to be more forceful in their commitment to the separate state cause. However, despite pressure to replace Uttam Kumar Reddy as the Congress representative from the T region at the all-party meet, PCC chief D Srinivas refused to budge.