For the last few days, the YSR Congress party leaders, particularly those who have defected from the Telugu Desam Party, are taking the name of Junior NTR while attacking the TDP leadership, particularly party president N Chandrababu Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh.
Take for instance the comments of Gannavaram MLA Vallabhaneni Vamsi Mohan. He said the TDP was being ruined by Naidu in his eagerness to promote his son Lokesh.
“How do you expect to me tolerate if Lokesh, who doesn’t know the difference between birth anniversary and death anniversary, abuses us?” he asked.
Vamsi alleged that Naidu had deliberately sidelined Junior NTR only for the sake of Lokesh.
“In 2009, NTR campaigned for the TDP even at the cost of his life and career. But in 2014, Naidu ignored NTR and begged Pawan Kalyan for support. Why didn’t he request NTR again to support the TDP? Because Naidu was afraid that NTR would come in the way of Lokesh’s political growth,” he pointed out.
Similarly, minister Kodali Nani also ridiculed Lokesh and said the TDP would survive only if Naidu hands over the party reins to Jr NTR.
One wonders why the YSRC leaders are promoting Jr NTR as an alternative to Lokesh, though it is purely an internal matter of the TDP.
In fact, if they think the TDP will become stronger if it handed over to Jr NTR, it will be a trouble for YSR Congress party.
It is not that the YSRC leaders are not aware of it. But it appears YSRC leaders are playing a mind game with Naidu by taking the name of Jr NTR only to demoralise the TDP cadre.
They are pretty well aware that Naidu will not bring Jr NTR under any circumstances, since he is desperate to make Lokesh as his successor.
So, if the YSRC leaders invoke Jr NTR’s name time and again, it will send a message into the TDP cadre that Naidu is more interested in promoting his son, rather than saving the party. It will lead to the party cadre deserting the TDP and the party will disintegrate gradually.
But if Naidu thinks the TDP is on the brink of collapse, he may not hesitate to go and prostrate before Jr NTR to revive the party fortunes. And if the TDP grows in strength again, it will be a challenge for YSRC as well!