Kesineni sibling rivalry opens up in Vijayawada TDP but here are Nani’s real foes

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) continues to face one big thorn in the form of Kesineni Nani, its incumbent MP

Kesineni Nani

VIJAYAWADA: The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which is looking to regain its stranglehold in 2024 in Vijayawada and Krishna district, continues to face one big thorn in the form of Kesineni Nani, its incumbent MP. Known as the eternal dissident in the party in the region, Kesineni Nani once again kept the party leadership and its men on the ground on tenterhooks with his ‘blow-hold, blow-cold’ behaviour.

Within days of strong indications emerging about his imminent replacement as party’s candidate for the Vijayawada Parliamentary constituency, and more significantly, his younger brother Kesineni Chinni emerging on the horizon as his most certain successor, Nani appeared to have decided to put the party in a bind with his mercurial behaviour and cryptic remarks.

On Sunday, Nani made his TDP men run for cover when he emphatically stated that he would neither support his brother Chinni nor the ‘other thugs’ in the party. He disdainfully described the ‘other’ as land-grabbers in the garb of realtors, call-money sex racketeers and gamblers. While the travels business tycoon-turned-politician’s frustration at seeing the potential rivalry coming right from his sibling can be understood, his open claims of scuttling the ‘other’ aspirants have equally shaken up the TDP rank and file.

It is being viewed that Kesineni Nani, with his own chances of contesting again virtually drying up, is determined to make sure that none of the TDP top names, especially the troika of leaders that is bitterly opposed to him, is named by the party. The animosity between Nani and the TDP threesome is an open secret, not just within the TDP but across all political circles.

From the end of his first tenure as the Vijayawada MP, Kesineni Nani has been having issues with former minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, former MLA Bonda Uma and former MLC Buddha Venkanna. There were instances in the past where the MP was involved in public verbal spats with his rivals, much to the consternation of the party leadership and the cadre.

What started as a verbal onslaught by Nani against the three TDP leaders soon turned into an oft-repeated offensive against the party leadership, especially Chandrababu Naidu. The MP’s rebellious attacks were fueled by his suspicions that the party leadership was indeed instigating the diatribe aimed at him in Vijayawada.

The manifestation of his anguish and anger was witnessed in full public glare a few months ago when he openly humiliated his boss Chandrababu Naidu during one of the latter’s visits to Delhi.

Nani felt crest-fallen, particularly after he failed to anoint his daughter on the coveted seat of Vijayawada mayor a few years ago. He has been a sulking soul since then as he strongly felt that it was the trio of Devineni Uma, Bonda Uma and Buddha Venkanna that sabotaged and upset the applecart of his daughter.

His latest comments, though in a veiled reference to his three TDP rivals, are being seen against this backdrop. It is being speculated locally that, though he expressed his opposition to his brother stepping into his shoes as the party candidate, his primary objective is to ensure that neither his arch foes nor their kin are allowed to secure the party ticket from the Vijayawada Lok Sabha constituency. He is also expected to eventually reconcile to his sibling’s candidature and throw his weight behind Kesineni Chinni.

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