Anam Vivekananda Reddy and Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, the boisterous and highly vocal leaders in Nellore district, will be joining the Telugu Desam Party to amplify the latter’s rhetoric and blow their own trumpet from the official vuvuzelas. Anam family has been in active politics of Andhra Pradesh for more than half a century and they need no introduction.
Ramanarayana Reddy and Vivekananda Reddy never sailed against each other in different parties. They “swim together and sink together.” The brothers are usually known to stay close to the corridors of power. Now, they want to join the TDP to “strengthen” the hands of N Chandrababu Naidu. “Andhra Pradesh is building its new Capital city. We want to stand by Mr Naidu at this hour and help the people build their dream capital. With that social responsibility only, we are joining the TDP,” said Vivekananda Reddy.
They have interesting political background with long stints of association with powerful leaders like N T Rama Rao and YS Rajasekhara Reddy. The Anam brothers are well-known bitter critics of Chandrababu Naidu for several years. Vivekananda Reddy had always breathed fire and brimstone against Chandrababu Naidu for many decades.
The change of political situation after the demise of YS Rajasekhara Reddy, to whom they were diehard loyalists, forced them to choose between the proverbial devil and deep blue sea. However, for very obvious reasons, they sided with the Congress instead of joining the bandwagon of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy when he parted ways with the Grand Old Party to float his own YSR Congress.
At some point in time, speculation was rife that Ramanarayana Reddy was tipped for the post of the Chief Minister, especially around the same time when the then Chief Minister K Rosaiah was on his way out. And, known for indulging in hectic lobbying, the Congress high-command was “nearly convinced” to hand over the reins to him to manage the State.
According to insiders, the Anam brothers tried to join the YSR Congress when Jagan was riding the wave of his popularity. However, at the behest of Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy and his family, Jagan developed aversion to the Anam brothers and slammed the door on their face even though the Anam brothers had used their good offices with Jagan’s uncle YV Subba Reddy.
Against this background, the elections came like an avalanche. Though they had an invite from the TDP in this weather that turned politically inclement to them, the brothers remained “loyal” to the Congress. For, they had an iota of doubt if TDP could really make it to power in the truncated Andhra Pradesh. They actually played their cards safe at that point in time, instead of demonstrating their political haste.
After all, Ramanarayana Reddy did the quite unthinkable of him by giving a statement that “Jagan should be hanged for his corruption.” This came as a rude shock to all, including those in the TDP. Considering the bitterness that widened the chasm between Jagan and the Anam brothers, the TDP began to adopt a wait and watch policy.
Not very surprisingly, the TDP’s Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy and P Narayana too were not in cordial terms with the Anam brothers. Though four from the Anam clan had contested in the 2014 Assembly elections – two from the Congress and two from the Jai Samaikyandhra Praty of N Kiran Kumar Reddy, none of them could save their deposits.
After the TDP’s ascendancy to power in the 2014 elections, they kept their fingers crossed. Their political overtures towards others had to be stalled for some time. However, the post-election scenario has thrown an interesting situation for the TDP in Nellore district.
Out of the 10 Assembly constituencies, the YSR Congress posted a victory in seven rattling the TDP, which managed a meagre three seats. Against this background, Chandrababu Naidu took P Narayana into his Cabinet from the districts and had him elected to the Legislative Council. Though Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy has been of the habit of spewing venom against Jagan, Chandrababu Naidu wanted some fresh faces to launch a diatribe against the YSR Congress.
Who else can be a better bet than the Anam brothers who are deft at hauling their opponents over the coals? Soon, Naidu’s son and general secretary of the party Nara Lokesh has swung into action and lured them into the party. As Narayana and Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy were opposed to the entry of the vocally and politically dominating Anam clan into the party, Lokesh had remained silent for some time at the behest of his father.
Once Chandrababu Naidu sent across an “in-principle” message that the party should entice any Reddy leader in Rayalaseema region to combat the YSR Congress, the Nellore TDP leaders were cajoled to concede the diktat of Naidu and let the Anam brothers join the party. The only mandate for them: Blast Jagan.