Hyderabad, May 23: Three MLAs from Telangana have raised a banner of revolt against the TDP leadership demanding that party president N Chandrababu Naidu write a letter to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram reiterating support for formation of a separate state.
Leading the rebels is TDP politburo member and senior MLA Nagam Janardhan Reddy. Though he has been maintaining that he holds nothing either against Naidu or the party, Nagam is speaking clearly in a language challenging the TDP, which has a strong presence in Telangana region with 38 MLAs.
Two other legislators K Harishwar Reddy and Jogu Ramanna have joined chorus with Nagam on the statehood issue and have refused to toe the party line. In fact, the trio has refused to carry the party flag and conduct programmes, seeking Telangana state, on their own.
While Nagam and Harishwar organised two public meetings in their respective constituencies in the last 10 days, drumming support for a separate state, Ramanna announced that he would conduct a similar meeting 'Telangana Nagaara' in Adilabad in the first week of June.
Both Harishwar and Ramanna too said they would not carry the TDP flag till it clearly extended support to Telangana.
Senior MLA and former union minister S Venugopalachari too is siding with the three rebel MLAs but has not spoken anything against the party so far. He is also extending support to Ramanna's meeting in Adilabad, their home district.
Nagam led the Telangana Telugu Desam Forum, a panel informally constituted within the party to take up programmes in support of a separate state.
Nagam, however, faced a rebellion from his own colleagues who staunchly opposed his "unilateral" ways of functioning. In fact, the Telangana TDP leaders went to the extent of accusing Nagam of acting at the behest of Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Interestingly, Nagam received support from TRS leaders and other Telangana protagonists even as his own party colleagues gunned for his head.
Telugu Desam Legislature Party deputy leader M Narasimhulu lashed out at Nagam saying he was raising the Telangana slogan only to serve his vested interests. This forced Nagam to give up the Forum post in March after which he had been acting rather independently.
Though Chandrababu repeatedly said he had no objection to TDP leaders taking up programmes in support of Telangana, in deference to the people's wishes, Nagam totally ignored the party.
As Nagam raised his pitch indirectly against Naidu saying the TDP too would perish like the Praja Rajyam Party if did not support Telangana state, other leaders from the region petitioned the party president seeking action against him.
"If Nagam doesn't restrain himself, he will be axed from the party," TDP spokesman A Revanth Reddy had warned yesterday.
This led to an angry reaction from Harishwar Reddy who released an open letter today daring the party to act against Nagam. He warned of a serious fallout if disciplinary action was initiated against Nagam.
"Can the TDP survive in Telangana without making its stand clear on the statehood issue," the former deputy speaker questioned in the letter.
The top leadership of TDP, however, is seemingly adopting a wait-and-watch policy before cracking the whip on the rebels.
"Since the issue is sensitive, we have to weigh several pros and cons before taking any action. We are taking note of the rebels' actions and will act at an appropriate time," a member of TDP's politburo said. PTI