Is TDP trying to revive the alliance with BJP in Andhra?

Interestingly, JSP with whom Naidu's party wants to have a tie-up with is working with the BJP as part of a pre-poll alliance.
Chandrababu Naidu and Narendra Modi shaking each others hands
Chandrababu Naidu and Narendra Modi shaking each others hands
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Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh seems to be open to reviving its ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was severed four years ago. Naidu's recent remarks on the possibility of having an alliance with actor turned politician Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena Party (JSP) and TDP's support to BJP’s Presidential nominee Draupadi Murmu indicates that the TDP is ready for alliance with any entity to unseat YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP.

When a TDP activist asked Naidu to seek an alliance with Pawan Kalyan, he quipped: “It's not enough to have one sided love, the person you love also should reciprocate”. Interestingly, JSP with whom Naidu's party wants to have a tie-up with is working with the BJP in the pre-poll alliance. The TDP is limiting its attack to YSRCP, sparing BJP, indicating ground clearance for re-alliance.

However, Andhra BJP leaders claim that they're not keen on having an alliance with the TDP. The recent comments by Andhra BJP Chief Somu Veerraju have hinted at change in the political scene ahead of the coming general elections in the state.

While addressing a week-long Padayatra (walkathon) in Amaravati region, Somu Veerraju said "The Amaravati project would have been completed and become a reality three years ago had Naidu not parted ways with the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre. Naidu dashed your dreams and hopes of the entire state. BJP is not responsible for the mess in Amaravati."

Somu Veerraju was responding to a farmer, who confronted the BJP leaders and accused the BJP-led Union government and the ruling YSRCP government of stalling the Amaravati capital project. Though the statement was aimed at pacifying the farmers in Amaravati, it has given room for speculations as the BJP is rallying behind TDP's prime project ie; capital in Amaravati. 

BJP spokesperson Shyam Prasad said that they're maintaining an equal distance with the TDP and YSRCP. He said: "We are only working with the JSP. Our leader Somu Veerraju spoke about what people have been thinking about the plight of Amaravati. We maintain equal distance with both TDP and YSRCP."

When asked if the BJP is laying a ground for political consolidation by taking up the TDP's prime project, which is Amaravati as the state capital, he said: "Chandrababu has not used the opportunity to construct the capital and develop the state. Now, YS Jagan Jagan Mohan Reddy who indicated that he is for developing the state capital in Amaravati before becoming CM has wasted the time by bringing up three capital proposals. Only BJP can solve the problems related to developing Amaravati as capital once we come into power. Capital development is one of our core concerns in state development." 

It was in March 2018 that TDP parted ways by exiting from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in the run up to 2019 elections. At the time, TDP's rivalry with BJP reached its peak with Naidu making attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not granting Special Category Status (SCS) as per the State Reorganisation Act, 2014.

Senior journalist and political analyst Telakapalli Ravi says BJP has understood that communal politics around temples won't pay dividends. “Though they are now on a hasty run to pick up popular issues like Amaravati it is visible that they don't want to let TDP prosper by having an alliance."

He observed that "rescuing" TDP would not be a viable deal for BJP, which wants to emerge as the strongest party in the state. 

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