TDP unaffected by Chiranjeevi's political foray: Naidu

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Hyderabad, Aug 18 (UNI) Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu today said filmstar Chiranjeevi's announcement to enter politics would not have any impact on his party.

The TDP would win the next elections hands down as ''people are with us.'' ''Only some opportnistic leaders after enjoying power have left the party. The party cadre strength is fully intact and people have faith in me,'' he told a press conference here on his return from his 117 ''meekosam yatra'' after covering 10,339 km spanning 150 constituencies and addressing over 3,000 meetings.

''In the past too, some leaders had deserted and the party has emerged stronger then,'' he recalled, referring to six MPs switching over to the ruling Congress to save the P V Narasimha Rao Government.

Similarly, Congress party engineered defection in 1983 thinking that TDP founder N T Rama Rao would go back to Chennai. But on the other hand, the TDP emerged stronger then also, he added.

Disagreeing with Mr Chiranjeevi that there was a ''political vaccum'' now in the state, he, however, said people definitely were looking at the TDP to reverse the ''pathetic situation'' in which they were pushed into due to the ''total failure'' of the Congress Government on ''all fronts.'' He denied reports that he had cut short his yatra to prevent ''exodus'' of partymen from the party in the wake of Chiranjeevi's political plunge.

After knowing first-hand the problems of the people, the party had constituted a committee to come out with recommendations to resolve them and the same would be incorporated in the election manifesto, he said.

The party would come out with an economic agenda to fight against poverty and hunger and ensure that the benefits of economic reforms reached the downtrodden people, he said.

Stating that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram, themselves renowned economists, were unable to check the steep price rise, he said all sections of people, including farmers were suffering due to acute shortage of essential commodities and fertilizers.

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