The alliance between the Congress and Telugu Desam Party has led to a crisis in the Congress party that is already on a weak wicket in Andhra Pradesh. Disgruntled by the alliance with TDP led by Chandrababu Naidu, former MLC and Rajya Sabha MP C Ramachandraiah quit the Congress on Saturday.
Ramachandraiah is the second leader to quit the party, former Minister Vatti Vasant Kumar had resigned from the Congress on Friday. Reportedly, AP Congress president Raghuveera Reddy tried to convince Ramachandraiah to stay back. However, the latter was firm on his decision and said that he doesn’t want to work with Naidu.
Earlier this week, Ramachandraiah had denied speculation of a poll alliance with the TDP and had threatened to quit the party if the Congress president took a decision to contest polls with the TDP. However, the TDP, a party founded on the principles of Telugu self-respect and was anti-Congress from the time of its inception, announced a strategic alliance to defeat the BJP in 2019. The announcement came after after the TDP chief Chandrababu and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi held a meeting in Delhi, two days ago.
Ramachandraiah is known for his opposition to Chandrababu Naidu. After working with the TDP for nearly two decades, he quit the TDP, dejected with Naidu’s style of functioning. He had stated that he didn’t like the way Naidu took decisions unilaterally without consulting other party leaders.
After quitting from the TDP, Ramachandraiah had then joined the Praja Rajyam Party headed by actor Chiranjeevi. However, the PRP merged with Congress in 2011. Ramachandraiah continued to remain in the Congress while several others deserted the party during the state bifurcation in 2014.
While it is speculated that Vasant Kumar is in talks in Pawan Kalyan to join his Jana Sena Party (JSP), it is unclear whether Ramachandraiah too will join the JSP. Pawan Kalyan is brother and founder of Praja Rajyam Party, actor Chiranjeevi.
Meanwhile, the Jana Sena Party led by Pawan Kalyan is gaining strength with several Congress leaders joining his party. Two weeks ago, former Speaker, Nadendla Manohar had joined his party. The duo have been on yatras extensively in the northern Andhra districts.