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Why Rajnath's visit to Hyderabad is very crucial

By Vicky Nanjappa
March 11, 2014 12:13 IST
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As TDP maintains a distance from the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the saffron party may get a new alliance partner in the form of Telangana Rashtra Samiti. Vicky Nanjappa reports on the changing political scenarios in the newly-formed regions of Telangana and Seema-Andhra in this election season.

Will Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh manage to break the ice in Hyderabad? His visit to Hyderabad later on Tuesday is being closely watched even as the Telegu Desam Party leaders have refused to interact or meet him over the issue of a possible alliance.

On the other hand the Congress continues to push the Telangana Rashtra Samiti for an alliance while the latter has been playing the hard ball.

Basically the BJP is desperate for an alliance in Seema-Andhra while the Congress wants the same in Telangana.

In Telangana, the assembly polls are not the problem for the Congress. The party is extremely confident of winning 65 seats in the 119 member assembly. They are, however, worried about their prospects in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as there are various issues which would ensure that they may not be able to control all the 17 seats in the region.

The TRS will sure take a couple of seats and they are also worried about the Narendra Modi factor in Secunderabad and Malakapet constituencies which have an urban voter base.

While undoubtedly the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen will sail with the Congress, it is the TRS which is turning out to be a worry for the grand old party. The TRS in all probability will support the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance if it manages to form the government at the Centre.

Several Congress leaders are desperately trying to talk the TRS into an alliance if not a merger. However K Chandrasekhar Rao, the TRS chief, is constantly being told by his cadre that they should fight the elections alone and not hand over the advantage to the Congress.

The TDP, on the other hand, is playing hard to get for the BJP. Rajnath Singh, along with senior leader Arun Jaitley, is scheduled to address a rally in Hyderabad later on Tuesday.

The TDP has refused to meet both the leaders. However it would all depend on Chandrababu Naidu who will take the final call on the issue.

Meanwhile, the forming of ex-Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy’s party and also the plan by Pawan Kalyan to launch a new party has not affected the TDP in Seema-Andhra as of yet.

Although Naidu appealed to both these leaders to join the TDP, sources in the party say that it is not yet the time to hit the panic button. They feel that there will not be a repeat of 2009 where the Praja Rajyam Party ate into their vote share.  The current set of leaders in Kiran’s party is not good enough to upset the TDP’s prospects, they feel.

Moreover the TDP will also wait and see which leaders would either join Kiran or Pawan Kalyan. An alliance with the BJP would largely depend on the strength of these two parties which will become clearer in a few days time.

The TDP is skeptical about an alliance with the BJP due to the Telangana issue. The BJP supported the bill in Parliament and this has not gone down too well in Seema-Andhra region, which the TDP is backing on heavily.

Experts say that a lot would depend on the kind of leaders who would join Kiran’s new party or Pawan’s proposed party. As of now Kiran Kumar Reddy appears to be on a weak footing.

The fact that he is not going to contest the elections and will let his brother do it says a lot about the confidence level in this new party which is called Jai Samaikya Andhra. 

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