In a big setback to the Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu, his brother-in-law and the party MP Nandamuri Harikrishna has decided to quit the Rajya Sabha membership and take a plunge into the movement for Samaikyandhra.
The maverick MP will submit his resignation on Thursday and soon after embark on Praja Chaitanya Yatra in Seemandhra to express solidarity with the ongoing agitation to keep the state united.
The development comes in the backdrop of widening gulf between the Nara and Namdamuri families over the succession issue in the party.
Harikrishna’s open revolt and his espousing the cause of Samaikyandhra is seen as a sure sign of the growing friction between the two leaders.
While Naidu has made it clear that his party would abide by the pro-Telangana stand, Harikrishna is identifying himself with the united AP cause and openly coming in conflict with the party’s official stand.
With Harikrishna’s decision to quit, the TDP leaders are worried that August crisis could hit the party as Naidu and his brother-in-law are all set for a showdown. If Junior NTR joins his father’s Praja Chaitanya Yatra, then it will lead to a full-blown crisis in the party. Already, there are allegations that Naidu has been systematically sidelining the leaders who are seen as close NTR.
Harikrishna had last week writen an open letter, pledging his commitment to the cause of united AP. His letter bomb has set off ripples in political circles, reflecting a widening gulf between him and the party leadership.
“Though as a party member, I respect the party’s decisions but I cannot keep quiet when the ruling Congress is trying to create a wedge between the Telugu people and tearing the Telugu society apart. I am responding to the call of conscience and lending my full support to the agitation to keep the state united,” he said.
On his part, Naidu has resigned to the inevitability of the state’s division and is now positioning himself as a pro-development leader with a clean administrative track record who can develop the new state with a development agenda.