Hyderabad: Politics is dynamic and keeps changing. And, in politics there are no permanent enemies or friends. This seems true in the case of the TDP and TRS. The strong rivals in the Telangana region _ Telugu Desam and Telangana Rashtra Samiti _ are preparing to work together if the recent political developments are any indication. Interestingly, both the arch rivals may join hands on the Telangana issue which separated them after the 2009 elections and are showing.
After the December 9, 2009 statement by the Centre, the TRS painted the Telugu Desam as Telangana betrayer and targeted TDP leaders and cadre in the region. It even created fear in the minds of TDP leaders and cadre about making their life in the region uncomfortable. It woos several MLAs of the TDP and some other parties into its fold. Its ambivalent stance on Telangana made the Telugu Desam face a humiliating defeat in all the byelections. The dominance of the region and the movement by the TRS was so complete that even a tall leader like TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu could not tour the region freely. The position of lesser leaders needs no mention. Party leaders were not even allowed by mobs even to pay homage to Telanagan ideologist Jayashankar in Warangal on his death.
All this made Congress leaders write off the TDP and declare that the main opposition party existed no more in the region for all practical purposes. But TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, who is as Machiavellian as Naidu is, believed that TDP was still relevant and was needed for the cause. He said openly at several public meetings that Telangana could not be achieved just on the strength of the people’s movement and a letter from Chandrababu Naidu to the Union government would clinch the Telangana issue.
In a change of strategy TRS leaders began dealing with the TDP from a different perspective. Their attacks on the party have slowly lost their sting and have even become soft. It became clear when the TRS and the TJAC refrained from attacking the TDP in the just-concluded Parkal byelection in Warangal district. Needless to say, the TDP has improved its vote percentage.
For its part, the TDP too has had a rethink and shed its belligerence towards the TRS. It has declared that it is ready to submit a fresh letter to the Union government on Telangana. It may do so in the coming one month. Though one cannot read too much into it, it is interesting to note that the TDP too boycotted the presidential election as the TRS did. Naidu has announced that his party will field BCs for 100 Assembly seats, most of them in Telangana. The Telangana TDP Forum has decided to provide financial assistance to the families of those who laid down their lives during the Telangana movement. All of a sudden, TDP leaders including the more strident M.Narsimhulu and Revant Reddy have stopped raising their voice against TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao. “We are not against the TRS but we have only reacted on issues,” one Telangana TDP leader said.
Another sign of TDP-TRS bonhomie is TRS leaders’ strident attack on YSR Congress Party chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and his party for participating in the presidential election and voting in favour of Congress candidate Pranab Mukherjee. Several TRS leaders are surprised that their party’s top leaders are targeting the YSRCP and Jagan more than the TDP.
TRS leaders did not hesitate to attack former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy and accuse him of looting the resources of Telangana. If any one supported anti-Telangana forces they did not have any place in the region, they declared. Shedding its long silence, the TRS has reacted to the power problem and organised protest programmes coinciding with TDP’s call for three- day protest programmes. The TRS chief wrote an open letter to the chief minister alleging his government’s failure on the power front.
As of now, the TRS and the TJAC are closely observing TDP’s shifting stance on the Telangana issue and will react at an appropriate time. The separatist party has repeatedly declared that it will not be averse to working with any political party which supports statehood for Telangana, a TRS leader has recalled.