Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday brushed aside the party’s rout in the elections and said that even a great leader like late party founder N T Rama Rao — or NTR, as he is called — had suffered defeat but did not lose heart.
Emphasising that the next five years will be crucial for the party, Naidu told party workers and leaders: “We have to introspect what went wrong and should come back stronger than before. It is not going to be easy, with the YSRCP in power with full majority, but I hope we will make a strong comeback.”
Naidu also said he will soon analyse the election results and take opinion and feedback from party workers and booth-level leaders.
Naidu and son Lokesh attended an event to celebrate NTR’s birth anniversary at the party office in Guntur, the first public function after the the TDP was decimated in both Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the state.
On NTR, Naidu said: “He did not lose heart (after electoral setback), and we also should not. We should take NTR’s inspiration, move forward, and continue to work for the people. NTR was not just a great leader but is ‘shakti’ (power) for all of us. He left his film career and got into politics to serve the people.”
Addressing the large number of TDP activists and supporters who came to the party office, Naidu said: “We respect the people’s mandate and we should move forward. Let us fight back and regain our position in the next elections. The TDP will be a responsible Opposition party until then.”
Lokesh Naidu, who lost the polls from Mangalgiri Assembly constituency, said the party will support all TDP workers and will even continue the life insurance scheme for all TDP workers. “We should learn lessons from the defeat and start preparing for the local body polls,” he said.
The TDP usually organises a week-long “Mahanadu”, or conclave, to celebrate NTR Jayanthi on May 28 but this year the event was cancelled since there was not much time after the election results were declared. Instead, party leaders pointed out, celebrations were held at party offices across the state, with the main programme organised in Guntur.