TDP MLA R. Krishnaiah plans to float backward classes party in Telangana

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Hyderabad: In what might be another major blow to the already weakened Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Telangana, another of its MLAs R. Krishnaiah is reportedly contemplating to leave the party. The legislator from the L. B. Nagar constituency, who is a backward classes (BC) leader, is considering the option to float his own BC outfit, banking on the state’s 50%-plus BC population.

If Krishnaiah quits, the TDP in Telangana will have just one MLA out of 15 left since the 2014 assembly elections. While, the party’s working president and Kodangal MLA A. Revanth Reddy switched loyalties to the Congress last October, 12 other legislators have defected to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). Some of them were made cabinet ministers.

“There is a big demand to float a party for BCs, as no political party is giving substantial seats to the community in spite of it making up about 52% of Telangana’s population. Talks are ongoing with BC leaders and organisations. But I have not quit the TDP yet,” Krishnaiah told Mint. He claimed that there are only 19 BC MLAs in the 119-member state assembly.

With Krishnaiah’s resignation, the party may lose its core BC vote bank, which both the TRS and Congress have been eyeing ever since the TDP has weakened in Telangana.

“Between 2004 and 2009, Kasani Gyaneshwar Mudiraj, a BC leader who was into real estate, organized all the castes within the BC community and formed a platform. But it did not work because of the huge economic disparity within BC groups. Mudiraj contested in the 2009 elections, but he got few votes and later tried to secure an MLC seat but failed again,” said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.

Reddy, however, said that among BC leaders, Krishnaiah is credible as he has been part of BC movements from the 1980s in the state. He said the 2019 assembly elections are expected to materialise in a hung assembly, and getting even a few seats in such a situation will put Krishnaiah in a good position. “The long shot will be to become the chief minister,” he added.

When contacted, a TDP office-bearer said that there has been no communication from Krishnaiah’s side about quitting.

TRS leaders refused to comment, while a senior Congress leader, who was not willing to be quoted, said that talks were on over the last few months with Krishnaiah to join the party, but nothing had come of itlivemint