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The BJP-TDP saga: Who needs whom more?

March 31, 2014 13:09 IST

All talks regarding an alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Telugu Desam Party came to an abrupt end on Saturday with the Telangana unit of the BJP putting its foot down against a tie-up.

While it is certain now that the BJP will fight the Telangana battle all by itself, the question of Seema-Andhra has been left open-ended.

The BJP leaders from Seema-Andhra are also making a fuss about joining hands with the TDP.

This brings us to the question: Who needs whom more?

In Telangana, the only advantage that the BJP would have had if it had gone ahead with an alliance with the TDP was the cadre strength of the latter. However, Telangana BJP chief Kishen Reddy is confident that they could do without that and will put up a better performance if it fights the battle alone.

Moreover, there is a negative sentiment against Chandrababu Naidu in Telangana as he had openly opposed the formation of the state where as the BJP had committed to the cause nearly ten years back.

The BJP has also been getting feelers from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which is a very strong force in the region today.

The TRS has said no to the Congress. It would benefit if it goes in for a post poll alliance with the BJP, as it would have a piece of the action at the Centre too.

The BJP would, however, want this alliance to come into force in a post-poll scenario.

While the Telangana story is over, the focus now moves to the Seema-Andhra region.

The BJP central leadership would have to take a call on this issue although sources within the party indicate that Chandrababu Naidu is desperately making all attempts to go ahead with the tie up.

Being out of power for 10 years has not gone down too well with Naidu and he wants a part of the action at any cost, analysts point out.

Two months ago, Naidu had told his party workers that he would tie up with the BJP only if he saw a Modi wave that was equivalent to the Atal Bihari Vajpayee wave of 1999.

Today, Naidu is convinced and is pushing for an alliance.

He has told his party workers that if they go to the people with the mantra of ‘Modi as PM and Babu as CM’ it would work wonders for them.

The BJP, when compared to Telangana, is relatively weaker in Seema-Andhra.

In Seema-Andhra, the TDP cannot be completely ruled out. Although there is a very strong Jagan Mohan Reddy wave, the TDP is expected to gain in some seats here.

Tying up with the TDP would mean shutting the door on the YSR Congress party which is more likely to get more seats. However, joining hands with the YSR Congress would also mean that the BJP will play second fiddle all along in this region and cannot make major ground in the years to come.

It is a tough call for the BJP. Will it want to seal its fortunes immediately by keeping the door for Jagan open or would it take the beating and consolidate in Seema-Andhra over the next five years is something that is to be seen.

Vicky Nanjappa