Andhra Pradesh Non-Resident Telugu (APNRT) society is a Government of Andhra Pradesh Initiative to provide Telugu diaspora a platform to engage with their motherland. Ravikumar Vemuru, a gastroenterologist from US, was appointed as advisor to the AP State Government ( NRT affairs & Investments ), and has been instrumental in getting APNRT up to speed and was able to make APNRT familiar to people across the globe. Proximity to the ‘powers that be’ is helping APNRT to expand at a rapid pace in USA and across the world.
On the other hand,people who represent the most venerable Telugu association TANA are not finding much political traction with the AP Government lately. A key individual, who has done considerable service to Telugudesam Party, in his personal capacity,was nominated as a ‘Janmabhumi co-ordinator’. Sources in the AP government reveal that it is just a namesake post without clear cut responsibilities.
“AP Government has qualms with some of the TANA Leaders. In fact, Naidu was reluctant to give any post to TANA key person as some members of NTR family strongly objected. Due to some compulsions, he ended up giving a post, which doesn’t have much significance” said an AP MLA who visits US very frequently and is close to NRI affairs.
Ravi Vemuru and team has identified an alternate resources in every city and made them APNRT provisional co-coordinators. Also, APNRT is overseeing the AP chief minister Naidu’s October visit to USA. It was communicated that in all the cities (much to the chagrin of TANA) APNRT regional co-coordinators are going to handle Naidu’s visit.
However, senior leaders from TANA are sulking that TDP leadership after returning to the power has floated new organization with new faces, ignoring those who served and funded the party for 10 years. Also, those who questioned the validity of APNRT at initial stages are now be able to grab local coordinators posts in some cities in Northeast. Also, a number of TANA leaders lament that leaders from rival organizations are allocated plum posts in APNRT.
On a positive side, this change of air is going to benefit TANA and telugu people in USA in coming years. TANA is a non-profit social service organization once respected by every individual for its service activities. From last few years, people with political and business interests have swarmed the organization. TANA leadership has been chastised that its members are using TANA to promote their self agenda leaving aside service aspect. It has been accused that a number of leaders from TANA use the post to curry favors with AP government. There is also wide spread criticism that some leaders of TANA spend more time on lobbying in India that on doing an iota of service activity in US.
Due to the genesis of APNRT, all the political aspirants in disguise may prefer APNRT over TANA as APNRT is official government organization.The local community leaders with only service motive may stay with TANA !
How many of them will remain with TANA if it doesn’t have the same political mileage with AP Government is any body’s guess.