'Beleaguered'Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has found an 'antidote' to 'Operation Akarsh' launched by the ruling TRS to weaken TDP in Telangana state. The yellow party has decided to offer monthly salaries and special allowances to leaders from village level to state level in Telangana to protect its cadre and leadership from poaching.
The party has fixed the salaries in the range of Rs 5,000 and Rs 40,000, depending on the capacity and rank of the leaders serving the party for at least 15 years. Village and mandal level leaders are being given between Rs 5,000 and Rs 7,000 and the district and state level leaders have been offered Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 per month.
Senior leaders such as state secretaries, general secretaries, youth wing, SC, ST and minority wing leaders would be provided Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000. “TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu has realised that the TRS government has conspired to make TDP a non-political entity from the grassroots level in the next three years after the party's floor leader in Assembly and Naidu's trusted lieutenant E Dayakar Rao joined TRS,” according to a senior leader.
He said that the party devised a plan of action to save TDP, which was almost on the verge of extinction with the spate of migrations by its leaders to the ruling party. All the state and district party committees have been instructed to prepare a list of leaders serving the party at the level of village, mandal and district. Based on the seniority, services and financial status, a list of eligible leaders would be prepared. Already, some leaders in the state committee are drawing monthly salaries. They will be provided allowances during their visits to the districts henceforth.
Party leaders said that the Rs 2-lakh insurance scheme meant for party workers attracted many in Telangana state during the membership drive conducted last year making the TDP as the second largest political organisation after TRS in the enrollments. The party workers are also provided free medical facility and free education to their children under NTR Trust.
"A major worrying factor for the party is that leaders are leaving the party under the influence of allurements from TRS," another senior leader said.