The first impression of Chandrababu Naidu’s three-day tour of Kuppam is that it is too late and too little. Lot of lost ground and missed opportunities greeted Chandrababu Naidu as he toured his home turf of Kuppam. The tour that should have been taken soon after the 2019 assembly elections is happening a tad too late and this has given an opportunity to YSRCP strongman Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy to wean away several key workers of the TDP.
Covid restrictions did prevent him from undertaking an extensive tour of Kuppam, but he lost two years as a result. No major programmes were organised in Kuppam. Meanwhile, consecutive adverse election results have hit the morale of the party workers hard. Using this, the YSRCP has poached several important workers in the constituency.
Insiders say that due to Chandrababu’s continued absence from Kuppam, some PAs and some local leaders became all powerful and they dominated the diehard cadres of the party. There are allegations that even Lokesh did not give any importance to the loyal cadres. With Jagan and Peddireddy focusing on Kuppam, several works were launched and the people slowly turned towards the YSRCP. They lured the party workers at the booth level. This has now turned out to be a major headache for Chandrababu.
Another major source of trouble is the growing popularity of Junior NTR in Kuppam. Slogans such as NTR Zindabad are greeting Chandrababu. The local cadre are yearning for an active role to NTR in the party. This is being seen as an open challenge to Lokesh Babu’s leadership. The three-day tour is likely to retrieve some lost ground. But, it is quite late. But, as they say, better late than never.