03 August, 2021

A Turning Point?

The electoral battle at Patapatnam is crucial for both TDP factions

A Turning Point?

IT’S a last ditch bid to grasp the bull by the horns and resurrect the fading fortunes of the Telugu Desam Party (NTR). The decision of party president Lakshmi Parvathi to contest the Patapatnam assembly byelection has come as no surprise to her bete noire, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. Parvathi’s first attempt to enter politics, through N.T. Rama Rao’s proposal to field his wife in the August ’95 Tekkali byelection, had been balked by Naidu. The shrewd Naidu pitted NTR’s rebel son, N. Harikrishna, against Parvathi. And NTR was left with no option but to allot the ticket to a local candidate, Hanumanthu Appaiah Dora.

Naidu used the Tekkali issue to engineer his final coup against a wobbly NTR. The next decisive turn came this January with NTR’s sudden death. Taking over as faction leader, Parvathi failed miserably to cash in on the expected sympathy wave in the Lok Sabha elections that followed. She was also unable to keep her depleted flock from crossing over to the ruling camp. From 40-odd legislators at the time of Naidu’s...

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