Andhra Pradesh’s main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is gearing up to hold its ‘Mahandu’ or annual conclave near Ongole on May 27 and 28 with the party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu exhorting party cadres to be ready for early elections.
The party on Wednesday began preparations for the event on 80 acres of land at Manduvari Palem on the outskirts of Ongole town of Prakasam district.
It decided to organise ‘Mahanadu’ outside Ongole after the state government denied permission for conducting the event in Ongole mini-stadium.
The TDP alleged that the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government deliberately delayed the allotment of the mini-stadium for holding ‘Mahanadu’ and finally rejected permission.
‘Mahanadu’ is organised every year in May, coinciding with the birth anniversary of party founder and former chief minister N. T. Rama Rao.
During the two-day deliberations, the party discusses the political situation and passes resolutions on a host of issues.
The annual conclave this year will focus on the prevailing ‘anarchic’ situation in Andhra Pradesh and its future.
TDP national president and former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu has asked the organising committees to focus on novelty and the party ideological commitments during the two-day event.
Over 5,000 delegates are expected to attend ‘Mahanadu’, which is being held in Ongole for the second time. The town had last hosted the event 15 years ago.
At the ‘Mahanadu’, Naidu is expected to urge the party cadres to be ready to face the elections whenever they are held.
He had called upon the party cadre on Tuesday to get ready for ‘early polls’ if announced ahead of the 2024 general elections.
“Advance elections are likely in the state ahead of 2024. Cadres and leaders should be prepared for this. We should get ready to face any challenge,” he said during a teleconference with party leaders.
The TDP chief said all sections of people were facing severe problems under the Jagan Reddy regime. In a difficult situation like this, they were looking at the TDP as a symbol of hope and a chance for their future.
Naidu said that a strong anti-government wave was sweeping all over against the YSRCP regime. The people were giving a warm reception to the TDP leaders during the ‘Badude Badudu’ campaign against increased taxes. On the other hand, the government faced public anger during its ‘Gadapa Gadapaku’ programme.
Chandrababu Naidu pointed out that the general public were coming forward and eagerly narrating their hardships to the TDP leaders. This was a clear indication of the huge anti-government sentiment. The TDP re-emerged as a pillar of assurance for the future of the state, he said.
The TDP chief shared his experiences and huge response during his visits to the districts as part of ‘Badude Badudu’ campaign. The unpopularity of the YSRCP rule was evident among all sections and in all regions of the state. The Jagan regime is facing a very severe resentment, he added.
Naidu asserted that the TDP leaders at all levels should move closer to the people. The TDP cadres and leaders should be prepared to meet any challenge.
Chandrababu Naidu held a meeting with party mandal and village committees to review ‘Badude Badudu’, party membership drive, voter verification and ‘Mahanadu’ arrangements. He asked the party leaders to visit every household in their areas. All sections were welcoming the TDP leaders and pouring out their woes because of the wrong policies in the past three years.
The TDP completed its 40 years in March this year. It was on March 29, 1982 that N. T. Rama Rao, a popular Telugu actor, formed the TDP on the slogan of Telugu self-respect.
NTR, as he was popularly called, created a record of sorts by coming to power within nine months of forming the party.
He died in January 1996, a few months after his son-in-law Chandrababu Naidu led a revolt against him to become the chief minister of then undivided Andhra Pradesh. Naidu led TDP to power in 1999 and remained chief minister till 2004, when Congress wrested the power.
After bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, TDP formed the first government in the residuary state. In 2019, the party lost power to YSRCP led by Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.