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Why BJP is sceptical of an alliance with TDP in Seema-Andhra

March 03, 2014 11:49 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party feels it has more to lose if it gets into an alliance with the Telugu Desam Party in Seema-Andhra. Vicky Nanjappa reports 

Although there has been talk of an alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Telugu Desam Party in Seema-Andhra, it now appears that the TDP will fight the battle alone.

The BJP is expected to go with the party that gets the maximum number of seats in the region.

The TDP has all throughout sent very confusing signals on an alliance. The party which was part of the National Democratic Alliance in 1999 feels that it has a poor chance against Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress. Also, if it is seen partnering with the BJP it would stand to lose a considerable number of seats.

In Seema-Andhra, while the Congress is considered the main culprit behind the division of the state, the BJP is seen as second accused for supporting the bill.

The TDP after gauging the mood of the voter in Seema-Andhra has realised that there is only one election issue this time -- the division of the state. If it is seen with the BJP, which is also responsible for dividing the state, it may stand to lose more than gain. The TDP wants to fight the elections alone and capitalise on the sentiment surrounding the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

While the Congress appears to be a spent force in Seema-Andhra today and with no alternate party being launched by the likes of Kiran Kumar Reddy (former Andhra Pradesh chief minister), the fight is directly between the YSR Congress Party and the TDP.

The YSRCP has several issues that work in its favour. Jagan has been seen as the man who fought for a united Andhra Pradesh. The TDP will have to battle him on this front and convince the people that the letter it had written favouring Telangana to the Union government has been misinterpreted by the people.

Jagan also has the sympathy of the masses due to the death of his father Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. Moreover, people feel that the Congress has wronged him.

The BJP too is in no hurry for an alliance. As per the directive of (BJP’s PM candidate) Narendra Modi it would not be wise to get into a pre-poll alliance as (senior BJP leader) L K Advani had wanted.

Modi would like to take the support of the party which has the highest seats in Seema-Andhra. Moreover the BJP which is stronger in Telangana compared to Seema-Andhra is also against an alliance with the TDP.

Telangana BJP leaders have threatened to resign as they feel it would be closing its doors in Telangana if there is an alliance with the TDP.

An alliance with the TDP would be fatal to its chances in Telangana in the future elections since the TDP is seen as one of the many culprits which opposed the formation of Telangana.

The BJP when it gave its assent to the Telangana Bill in Parliament was well aware of the political gamble. It does realise that the manner in which things are shaping up it has a chance to secure Telangana.

But the mood in Seema-Andhra for the BJP is nothing exceptional. The BJP is aware that this time around in Telangana the vote is for the Congress, but in the next election, the people will give the BJP a chance as it supported the formation of the state.

Image: YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru