TDP MLA and former Labor Minister Atchannaidu, who was tested positive for Covid-19 and harassed by the ruling YSRCP government, has been appointed as the president of Telugu Desam Party (AP wing).
Atchannaidu elevation is a clear indication that former chief minister and TDP national president Chandrababu Naidu has recognized the Srikakulam strongman’s loyalty and experience.
Atchannaidu will replace Kala Venkata Rao as the new TDP president (AP wing). Several TDP leaders have endorsed Atchannaidu as the party president of AP, in place of Kala Venkat Rao, who reportedly offered to step down after the party’s debacle in the last elections. Atchannaidu was chosen as the party president as he is known for his aggressive posture against the YSRCP and had been vocal about several issues. The Srikakulam strongman hails from Backward Caste, one of the key factors for his choice. His elevation is expected to consolidate the BC vote bank.
Naidu strongly backed Atchannaidu when he was arrested in the alleged ESI scam. In an act of political vendetta, the YSRCP government ordered an ACB probe into the alleged irregularities in the purchase of equipment, medicines, and other items in the Directorate of Insurance and Medical Services between 2014 and 2019.
The senior TDP leader was arrested in Srikakulam on June 12. The CB sleuths went to the senior TDP leader’s residence at Tekkali in Srikakulam district and arrested him an early morning swoop down. At the time of arrest, the TDP leader had undergone surgery for piles. Yet, the TDP leader was taken by road from Srikakulam to Guntur, more than 400 kms and nearly 10 hours of journey. He was shifted to Guntur GGH on health grounds and discharged after second piles surgery on July 1. Following an interim order of the High Court on July 8, he was shifted to Ramesh Hospitals the same day. Later, he was tested positive for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Kala Venkat Rao had been with the TDP since 1983 although he had a brief stint with the Praja Rajyam Party. Kala Venkat Rao held key portfolios such as Home, Municipal Administration, and Commercial Taxes. He was also a Rajya Sabha member and Chairman of the TTD.