Hyderabad: It is curtains for the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Telangana. Facing an existential crisis, the party has decided to opt out of the Parliamentary polls in the State ending its three-and-a-half-decade-old saga.
Launched by the matinee idol-turned-politician NT Rama Rao to champion the cause of Telugu pride, the TDP has completely lost its support base, including the last batch of leaders and functionaries in Telangana.
TDP politburo member Nama Nageswar Rao, vice president of its Telangana unit Amarnath Babu and a host of other leaders deserted the TDP two days ago declaring that the party had lost its relevance in the State. Nageswar Rao has since been nominated as the TRS candidate for the Khammam Parliament seat.
The flashpoint for the desertions began in November last year when the TDP struck and alliance with the Congress, loathed by its founder president N T Rama Rao throughout his life. Almost all the district units of the TDP are now on the verge of being disbanded.
Dubbed by the TRS leadership as a political party of Seemandhra, the TDP top leadership ceased to operate from the NTR Trust Bhavan, its original headquarters in Hyderabad. Now, it is being used by a few leaders to soothe their tired feet.
The vote share of the TDP witnessed a marked decline, thanks to its decision to join the Praja Kutami comprising Congress, CPI and TJS. The party which managed a vote share of 18.01 per cent of the total votes in 2014, could retain only 3.5 per cent in the Assembly elections in 2018.
It fared badly in all the seats it contested in 2018, including Khammam and Hyderabad that were once considered its strongholds. Its tally dropped from 15 seats in 2014 to just two seats in 2018.
One of its two MLAs — Sandra Venkata Veeraiah of Sathupalli constituency — has already deserted the TDP to join the TRS with a resolve to work with the TRS for Bangaru Telangana.
The party is said to be trying hard to retain the lone MLA, Mecha Nageswar Rao from Aswaraopet (ST) Assembly constituency, it has been left within Telangana.