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TDP-BJP stalemate: Who needs who more?

April 18, 2014 11:56 IST

Following the Bharatiya Janata Party-Telugu Desam Party alliance, tempers are flying high, with each side saying that they could manage without another. BJP supporters often question as to why their leadership does not break the alliance instead of putting up with TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu’s tantrums. Vicky Nanjappa reports

BJP insiders, who are dealing with this issue give us clarity about what is going on within the alliance. For starters, there has to be a certain amount of flexibility on both sides. The BJP source says that Naidu has not started talking tough after the opinion polls gave him the edge. He was extremely confident of winning 20 Lok Sabha seats prior to these opinion polls.

When both parties began their talks, Naidu had suggested that the alliance should only be applicable in Telangana, but the BJP insisted that the alliance should be in force in all of Andhra Pradesh. But finally it was with a great deal of reluctance that Naidu finally agreed to seal the alliance where Seemandhra was concerned.

BJP leaders in Seemandhra have often publicly said that they do not care about this alliance. However, a reality check would show that the BJP will not be able to win without the support of the TDP. The TDP cadre on the other hand would be extremely thrilled if the alliance breaks up; since they are confident they are in a position to gain.

The BJP senses that Naidu is a big player in Seemandhra today, and contrary to several reports, he will put up a fierce battle against YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy. Even if Naidu ends up winning 12 to 15 Lok Sabha seats, he would still be a player.

For Naidu, the only advantage of allying with the BJP in Seemandhra would be the possibility of a national role. The TDP cadre says that the Seemandhra alliance is helpful only to a certain extent.

The TDP needs to tell the people that the alliance means that the party will have a say in things in New Delhi. This would ensure more funds coming in for the development of the region. This is the only reason for the TDP still showing an interest in the alliance.

However, this view is only endorsed by Naidu and some of his close confidants.

There is also an urgent need to convince Pawan Kalyan, brother of actor-turned politician Chiranjeevi, not to field candidates against the TDP. If Kalyan fields his own candidates then he will not be able to be a part of the BJP-TDP alliance.

However, many within the BJP say that they will have to take a stand on NTR’s daughter Purandeswari, as Naidu will refuse to go ahead with the alliance if no call on this is taken. He had, in fact, forewarned the BJP against fielding her, but the BJP didn’t heed, and this irked him no end. BJP sources however feel that sacrificing Purandeswari would be better than losing the alliance.

If they sacrifice her the BJP feels that they gain or lose nothing. At the moment the talks are still on and both parties are hopeful of a solution at the earliest.

"The TDP says they do not need the BJP, but BJP believes they need them. This is the general sentiment,” said a source.

Image: TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu with BJP leader Prakash Javadekar

Photograph: SnapsIndia

Vicky Nanjappa