NTR loyalist joins Jagan

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has suffered a major setback with Kodali Venkateswar Rao alias Nani,  a prominent MLA from Gudivada in Krishna district, quitting the party to join the YSR Congress (YSRC) led by Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.

Rao, who is also a film producer and close associate of  NTR Jr and his father Harikrishna, called on the YSRC president at the Chanchalaguda Jail on Monday morning, thus sending shock waves within the TDP. The Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP summarily suspended him from the party. Incidentally, he is the second TDP leader from Krishna district to be suspended for meeting Jaganmohan.

Vijayawada urban district party president Vallabhaneni Vamshi Mohan was also suspended in June last for shaking hands with the YSRC leader, during the latter’s visit to Vijayawada.

“How can they call the YSRC president when the TDP is bitterly opposing his corrupt and criminal acts,” argued a senior TDP spokesman Varla Ramaiah. It appears that with the growing popularity of Jaganmohan, and his party as an alternative regional political force to the Congress since 2009, the TDP has been on the downhill drive as it lost in the recently held by-elections. Four TDP legislators have deserted the party and got reelected as Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and YSRC candidates.

 Addressing a hurriedly arranged press conference within hours of the TDP’s action against Nani, the actor said: “I am just 28 years old and do not consider myself old enough to be playing politics. As long as I am alive, I will continue to be with the party founded by my grandfather because it is my duty. However, being an actor and having a family to support, cinema is my priority,” he saidHowever, he brushed aside the question related to his alleged “differences” with the TDP president or his uncle actor N Balakrishna.“I am close to all of them, including ‘mamayya’ (uncle), and will be available for the party anytime I am required,” he asserted.

“I am close to all of them, including ‘mamayya’ (uncle), and will be available for the party anytime I am required,” he asserted. After Nani met YSRC honorary president YS Vijayamma, party leaders termed the TDP a “sinking ship and its leaders are deserting the party”. as its future appears to be bleak.”

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