While Chandrababu Naidu indicated that TDP would explore returning to the NDA, the Andhra Pradesh unit of the BJP on the other hand has said that there is no question of an alliance.

TDP chief Chandrababu NaiduFile Photo/PTI
news Politics Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 18:29

TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu’s recent visit to New Delhi has triggered speculation yet again that he is willing to mend ties with the BJP and move back into the fold of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Naidu was in Delhi to present the Telugu Desam Party (TDP)’s demand to impose President’s Rule in Andhra Pradesh, following a series of attacks on TDP leaders and offices earlier on October 19. In the midst of Naidu’s Delhi visit, YSRCP MP V Vijayasai Reddy, who is also a close aide of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, claimed at a press meet on Wednesday, October 27, to have “reliably” learned that Naidu had made an offer to share 50% seats in the parliamentary elections while retaining a larger share of seats in the Assembly, in the 2024 elections. 

Naidu himself had told The Hindu a day earlier that the TDP must explore a return to the NDA, saying the TDP would be exploited otherwise. This is not the first time that such speculations have come up since the TDP cut ties with the NDA back in 2017 when it was in power in Andhra Pradesh. Naidu had made an exit from the NDA on the grounds that Andhra Pradesh was not awarded the special category status, a key demand during the bifurcation of the state, for the formation of Telangana. 

However, since facing a massive defeat in the 2019 Assembly and General elections in the state, Naidu has often been seen as warming up to the BJP and occasionally speaking in favour of the BJP’s ally in the state, Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party. The TDP has even adopted Hindutva politics in the state, aggressively taking up the campaign against alleged attacks on Hindu temples that was first stoked by the BJP, and even resorted to making communal statements. 

Also read: 

Not permanent foes: Naidu who renounced BJP inches back towards them?

Why Chandrababu Naidu has opted for a Hindutva brand of politics

Addressing the media, MP Vijayasai Reddy claimed that in the past few days, Naidu had been trying to curry favour with BJP leaders by praising them. “It indicates the fact that he would like to align with the BJP…It has been reliably learned that he (Naidu) has given an offer to BJP saying he is willing to give 50% of the seats in parliament, offering 13 seats to BJP and keeping 12 seats to himself. On the other hand, he would like to have more seats in the state elections,” he said. 

Accusing Naidu of switching loyalties for his advantage regardless of principles, he said, “Knowing the character of Chandrababu Naidu, the question is whether BJP is in a position to believe him or not.” He also claimed that the YSRCP had nothing to fear even if the TDP did join the BJP-Jana Sena alliance in the state, stating that the YSRCP had gained around 51% of the total votes polled in the 2019 elections, indicating huge support. “Whether the other parties contest on their own or join together and contest against YSRCP will not make a difference,” he said. 

Read: Democracy under threat in AP, says Naidu, seeks President rule in meeting with Kovind

Vijayasai Reddy also claimed that Naidu was only able to meet President Ram Nath Kovind and was denied appointments with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. However, soon after these claims were made, TDP said that Amit Shah spoke to Naidu on the phone, as he was away on a visit to Kashmir. Naidu is believed to have apprised Shah of the situation prevailing in Andhra Pradesh due to alleged "state sponsored terrorism". Alleging that there is total breakdown of law and order, the TDP leader demanded imposition of the President's rule in the state.

The Andhra Pradesh unit of BJP on the other hand has said that there is no question of alliance with TDP. The BJP also launched a scathing attack on YSRCP, saying that the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh has been threatening people to ensure its victory in Badvel Assembly bye-poll. In a press conference on Wednesday, October 27, BJP National Secretary and co-incharge of Andhra Pradesh, Sunil Deodhar said, "There is no question of alliance with the TDP. BJP and Jan Sena will contest all forthcoming elections together. Our stand is that Andhra Pradesh should get rid of both TDP and YSR Congress party.” 

With PTI and IANS inputs

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.