June 24, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, June 23: The exit of senior leader T Devendar Goud from the Telugu Desam is likely to change the political and electoral equations in the backward Telangana region, which sends 119 of the total 294 legislators in the next Assembly elections.
Devendar Goud is likely to float his own political party and will contest the next Assembly elections in a tie-up with either the Left or the TRS. This will change the political equations and cause a dent in the vote bank of the ruling Congress and the main Opposition Telugu Desam.
In case film actor Chiranjeevi decides to go ahead with his plans to form a political party the electoral equations will change further, upsetting the political calculations of all the major players including the Congress and the Telugu Desam.
Sources close to Devendar Goud point out that he had acted fast on the Telangana front by submitting resignation to take other political parties by surprise. In view of fresh developments Chiranjeevi will think twice before plunging into politics. Since Devendar Goud enjoys the "Mr Clean" image, all political parties except of course the Telugu Desam will not find it embarrassing to have an electoral
tie-up with Goud's political outfit.
Devendar Goud draws his political and electoral strength primarily from a large sections of backward classes, Muslims, and a section of Scheduled Castes in Telangana. These communities have a strong presence in he backward region. Moreover, Goud is articulate and has the organising capacity to pull crowds. Goud belongs to toddy tappers community which is a predominant community in Telangana.
"Devendar Goud has taken a right decision. We welcome it," senior TD leader Ch Rajeshwar Rao said talking about immense support Goud enjoys as an individual leader.
The TRS has already extended its support to Devendar Goud while the Left parties are waiting for an opportune time to strike a deal with him. The ruling party may also seek the support of Goud, after studying the political situation a couple of months before the Assembly polls.
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