The Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) worst-ever drubbing in the recent general elections is attributed to ‘uninspiring’ local leadership at the constituency level, if the feedback received on the first day of the Chittoor district-level review meeting is any indication.
Party national president and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu arrived to a rousing reception at the three-day review meeting which began at Ithepalle of Chandragiri constituency on Wednesday, where the aggrieved party workers listed out the reasons for the defeat.
It may be recalled that Mr. Naidu was the lone candidate to emerge triumphant from Kuppam in his home district of Chittoor, while the party candidates lost in all the remaining thirteen segments.
The day saw marathon review of the north-western constituencies of Thamballapalle, Madanapalle and Piler, where enough feelers came to the fore on the failure of the middle level (read ‘constituency’ level) leadership in taking the State party’s message to the masses.
Apart from non-availability of the candidates at their respective constituencies, several workers also blamed it on the ‘limited access’ that they could get with them. Owing to the ‘uninspiring leadership’ at the constituency level, most constituencies witnessed a ‘disconnect’ between the party’s central unit and the voters, field-level workers with whom The Hindu spoke to acknowledged.
Taking cognizance of the above facts, Mr. Naidu dropped hints that the party workers would get a chance to identify the local leadership.
On the party’s crushing defeat even after providing good governance, he wondered what the voters wanted from him.
YSRCP under fire
Launching a scathing attack on the ruling YSRCP government for resorting to physical assaults on TDP workers, Mr. Naidu warned that they would not be cowed down by such attacks.
Branding Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy as the ‘most ineffective Chief Minister’ he had ever seen, he fumed at the YSRCP government for what he called preferring only to undo the work done during the previous regime, instead of trying to leave its own impact on people through positive governance.
Mr. Naidu also spoke on the acute sand shortage that brought construction industry to a standstill and hitting the working classes hard, entrepreneurs deserting the State and policy paralysis witnessed in crucial sectors.