Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reportedly pulled up two senior ministers in his Cabinet for adding fuel to the speculations that TDP may join hands with the Congress to contest the upcoming polls.
Naidu is reported to have warned Roads and Buildings Minister Ayyanna Patrudu and Deputy Chief Minister KE Krishnamurthy against getting carried away by reports in the media.
"Being senior leaders in the party, how can the two leaders forget the fact that any decision on electoral alliances will be taken before elections and that too after discussing in the party Politburo. How can they go by media reports without verifying the facts and discussing within the party?" TNIE quoted Naidu as saying.
This comes days after Patrudu, responding to reporters at Narsipatnam, said that the TDP was not interested in allying with the Congress, adding that he would 'oppose the move tooth and nail' even if that was the case.
Krishnamurthy had also made similar statements when he was quizzed about the issue by the local media.
In fact, in June this year, the Deputy CM went one step further, saying that he was ready to hang himself if the two parties formed an alliance.
Talking to reporters in Kurnool, he ruled out any alliance with Congress. "This is a decision taken by the party. If it happens, I am ready to hang myself," said the TDP leader.
Krishnamurthy made the remark while answering queries about the claims by the opposition YSR Congress and Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) that TDP was preparing to join hands with Congress for 2019 elections.
Naidu has been facing flak ever since he shared the dais with Congress President Rahul Gandhi at the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy earlier this year.
Speaking to reporters at the time, BJP national secretary V Ram Madhav accused Naidu of going back on the ideology of former Andhra CM and TDP founder NT Rama Rao, who wanted to unite all non-Congress parties to forge an alliance.
Naidu, whose party pulled out of BJP-led NDA over its refusal to accord special status to Andhra Pradesh, has already clarified that sharing dais and shaking hands with Rahul Gandhi does not mean TDP will have any alliance with Congress.