The opposition Telugu Desam Party held a major rally of its cadre for the first time after its humiliating defeat in the 2019 general elections. Though the rally was not a political one and it was a funeral, the TDP rank and file tried to show their strength and feel revived.
TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu had thus succeeded in making the funeral of late Dr Kodela Sivaprasada Rao to help revival of the party from the defeat. He rallied the leaders and the cadre together more for the party than the late leader. The TDP leaders walked all through the stretch from Kodela’s residence to the crematorium to bid adieu to the late leader. Those leaders and the cadre, however, were not seen with the late leader, when he was in deep crisis, with case after case being filed against him, by the victims of his family. He was left alone to fight this battle, which drove him to isolation causing distress and agony.
The TDP leadership, which accused the government of indirectly responsible for the death of Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, did not allow the government’s offer of honour for the last rights, that a former minister is generally offered. The family conducted the funeral with son Sivaram performing the last rites. In a way, the TDP had succeeded in breathing life into the party making use of Kodela’s death. It came handy for the party to regroup and fight with vengeance against the government.
The party had used the clashes between the Dalits of Palnadu to regroup and revive itself from the defeat and that new life was thus consolidated with the death of Kodela Sivaprasada Rao. The party will have to wait for another chance to take on this government and stage a comeback, ahead of the local body elections, due in December 2019. It is to be seen how Chandrababu Naidu makes his next move.