There is discontent in the Bharatiya Janata Party and Telugu Desam Party cadre, and the decision to turn allies could lead to some members turning rebels, says Vicky Nanjappa
The Telugu Desam Party on Sunday formally announced an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Andhra Pradesh. This announcement was made in Hyderabad after marathon talks between BJP leader Prakash Javadekar and the TDP's N Chandrababu Naidu.
Though the two parties have agreed on a tie up, they face several problems to deal with.
Six district unit presidents in Telangana have submitted their resignations and the TDP cadre is protesting outside Chandrababu Naidu’s residence demanding that he does not take the alliance forward.
These rumblings were the reason for the delay in announcing the alliance that was agreed upon on Monday. While the TDP was not sure about Seema-Andhra, the BJP was delaying the alliance agreement in Telangana.
The BJP felt it stood a better chance to fight the election alone, as TDP was seen as opposed to the formation of a new state of Telangana. In Seema-Andhra the TDP felt it may lose out in case it gets into an alliance, as the BJP had supported the Telangana bill in Parliament.
In Telangana, the TDP realises that if it does not ally with the BJP, it won’t gain. If the BJP does not put up candidates in Telangana then the people won’t choose the TDP as an alternative. The next choice is either the Telangana Rashtra Samithi or the Congress.
In the Seema-Andhra region, people have more or less accepted the bifurcation and are now seeking development in the region. They feel they should vote for a party that will have a say at the Centre. With every opinion poll showing that the BJP would form the government at the Centre, the TDP stands to gain in case of an alliance.
The TDP on one hand will speak about the bifurcation issue, but will also try and tell the people that it was now time to develop the region for which they need to come to power both at the state and Centre.
But the cadre of both the BJP and TDP are not happy. They continue to raise the issue of state bifurcation.
While top party leaders of both parties have been in agreement over an alliance, grassroots party workers are not united. But Sunday’s announcement of an alliance may bring some calm in the party ranks.
The rumblings in the BJP and TDP are likely to continue, which could lead to some members turning into rebel candidates.
While the TDP has been very generous in Telangana, many in the BJP felt that they should have got a better deal in Seema-Andhra. The BJP wanted Visakhapatnam, Nellore and Ongole but the TDP agreed to part only with Visakhapatnam. This has caused some heartburn among BJP workers in the region.
In Telangana, the BJP felt that it should have got more than 12 seats out of the 17 in the Lok Sabha segment, as they have always claimed that the people wanted to vote for a (BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra) Modi led government.
However, the BJP had to settle for 8 seats as the TDP managed to convince the top leadership that they have a very strong cadre in the remaining 9 constituencies.
Chandrababu Naidu said that Modi will lead the NDA to a record 300 plus win.
“This alliance was needed in order to wipe out the Congress,” he said. Everything will be fine he said with a smile.
“Modi will repeat what he did in Gujarat. He is an able administrator and will run the country very well. The people have suffered enough under the Congress in Andhra Pradesh and also the rest of the country and now its time for a change. We will resolve issues.
“The TDP is a lucky mascot. Each time the TDP has allied to form a non-Congress government at the Centre it has succeeded,” said Naidu.
Experts point out that both the parties need to announce their list of candidates and that process needs to be finalised in the next couple of days. The delay has already contributed to dissidence and if they continue to dillydally then the mess could only worsen.
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Image: TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu with BJP leader Prakash Javadekar