TDP Chief's decision to boycott ZPTCS,MPTCs polls draws ire of

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some party cadre,senior leaders Amaravati, Apr 3 (PTI) The Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu's decision to boycott the coming elections to the mandal parishad and zilla parishad territorial constituencies in Andhra Pradesh seems to have irked a section of the TDP rank and file and some senior leaders have voiced their protest.

In private, some party leaders lament that the boycott decision was by far the 'biggest political blunder' committed by Chandrababu Naidu, sources close to them said.

Even at the TDP politburo meeting, where the boycott decision was taken on Friday, veteran leaders like Yanamala Ramakrishnudu were said to have advised against it as it would leave the party cadre demoralised.

Ultimately, though, Chandrababu Naidu announced that the TDP was boycotting the April 8 elections to the MPTCs and ZPTCs as they became 'totally undemocratic.' He said the TDP could not become a party to 'undemocratic' acts and has hence taken a 'tough decision' under inevitable circumstances to protest the State Election Commissioner's actions.

Protesting Chandrababu's decision, senior leader Jyothula Nehru resigned from the TDP vice-president's post, saying he was pained over it, while former Union Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju found fault with the party chief's decision.

'The high commands decision is not final.We will decide on whether or not to contest the local bodies polls based on the local conditions,' Gajapati Raju told reporters in his native Vizianagaram.

In neighbouring Visakhapatnam district, senior leader Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy too was unhappy with the boycott decision and said the party cadre was not ready to accept it.

He announced that they would remain in the contest irrespective of the result.

TDP sources here said party workers in districts like West and East Godavari and north coastal Andhra were very keen on fighting the MPTC and ZPTC elections.

In the four Rayalaseema districts of Anantapuramu, Chittoor, Kurnool and Kadapa, where the TDP failed miserably in the recent elections to the gram panchayats and urban local bodies, the rank and file is said to be content with Chandrababu's decision to boycott the MPTC and ZPTC polls.

Similar was the mood in Prakasam and SPS Nellore districts as well while the leadership in Guntur and Krishna districts, considered the party's strongholds, maintained a stoic silence.

The party's official stand notwithstanding, the TDP will still technically remain in the contest as its candidates names are printed in the ballots because the poll process got stalled in March last year after the final list of contestants was published.

Interestingly, the TDP has already won 100 MPTC seats unopposed last year, though it had no such luck in the ZPTCs. PTI DBV BN BN