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TDP wants to look beyond Sugunamma in Tirupati, but will she allow new leadership to emerge?

By:  Tupaki Desk   |   4 April 2022 6:02 AM GMT
TDP wants to look beyond Sugunamma in Tirupati, but will she allow new leadership to emerge?
Besides being a pilgrimage centre and the seat of spirituality, Tirupati is politically very significant for the political parties in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Both the ruling YSRCP and the opposition TDP are vying for supremacy in the assembly constituency and the Lok Sabha seat. Interestingly both the parties are led by two powerful political families.

The TDP is led by the Bhumana family. Bhumana Karunakar Reddy failed to win the 2014 elections, but has emerged victorious in the 2019 elections. He has consolidated himself very well and the YSRCP is a formidable force in Tirupati. As for the TDP, it was led by the family of M Venkataramana. Venkata Ramana won in the 2014 elections defeating Bhumana Karunakar Reddy. His sudden demise forced his wife Sugunamma into politics. She won the bypoll but lost in the 2019 elections.

Since her defeat, Sugunamma is said to be keeping away from politics. She is seen in public only occasionally. Meanwhile, her son-in-law Sanjay is holding the fort. But, his abrasive ways are alienating the cadre from the party. The party has lost a considerable number of cadres due to Sanjay' harsh ways of dealing with the people.

The TDP is said to be thinking of alternative leadership for Tirupati. It has tried to bring liquor baron DK Adikeshavulu Naidu's son DK Srinivas into politics. But, DK has expressed disinterest and clarified that he wants to focus on his businesses. Meanwhile, prominent Balija leader JB Srinivas is also being propped up. But, he is facing stiff opposition from the Sugunamma camp, who too is a Balija. There are also reports that JB Srinivas is planning to fight on Jana Sena ticket if Sugunamma camp opposes his entry into the TDP.