Anantapur has always been a TDP citadel. But it has always been its problem district. Intense groupism has always affected the TDP. But, the rock-solid support from the Kamma community has helped the TDP tide over the problems. But, it now appears that things are not all that rosy in the TDP.
In 2014, the party had six Kamma MLAs, including Balakrishna, Paritala Sunita, Unnam Hanumantharaya Chowdary, Prabhakara Chowdary, Varadapuram Suri and Payyavula Keshav. In 2019, the TDP bit the dust in a YSRCP tsunami and could win only two seats. Both the seats are won by Kamma leaders â€“ Balakrsihna and Keshavulu.
But, soon after the elections, Payyavula Keshav shifted his base to Hyderabad citing security concerns, while Balakrishna was busy with his films. His visits to Hindupur are rare and uneventful. Even in other constituencies, the Kamma leaders are at war with themselves and this could hit the prospects of the Telugu Desam in the 2024 elections.
Paritala Sunitha's son Paritala Sriram wants to contest from Dharmavaram. He has been working on the constituency for quite some time. However, there are rumours that former MLA VaradapuramSuri, who has left the TDP, might come back to the party and would want to contest from Dharmavaram. As a result, both Suri and Sriram are fighting it out in Dharmavaram. The rivalry seems to be spilling into other constituencies also.
In Puttaparthi, former minister Palle Raghunath Reddy and JC Diwakar Reddy acolyte P Srinivas Reddy are fighting for the party ticket. To add more problems, former Puttaparthi municipal chairperson PC Ganganna too is raising a banner of revolt against Raghunatha Reddy. In Kadiri, the fight is between two former MLAs â€“ Ather Chand Basha and K Venakta Prasad. In Madakasira ,former MLA Eeranna and former MLC G Tippeswamy are at loggerheads.
Party sources feel that Chandrababu Naidu should intervene and take quick steps to set the house in order in Anantapur. Unless these problems are solved, the party would not be in a position to regain its lost glory, they say.