TDP chief Rajnath meet; sparks talk of future alliance

TDP chief Rajnath meet; sparks talk of future alliance

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo Chandrababu Naidu met Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)  national president Rajnath Singh on Saturday to discuss Telangana statehood issue, triggering speculation that the two parties were warming up ahead of 2014 elections.

Though both sides claimed that politics was not discussed, the meeting assumed significance as the BJP is scouting for partners for pre- and post-poll alliances in a bid to expand the shrinking National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after old ally Janata Dal (United) walked out protesting against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s elevation as party's poll mascot.

A section of the BJP leaders believes that the party may not gain in Telangana if Andhra Pradesh is bifurcated before the polls as the TDP has not been able to pilot separate statehood sentiments as the Telangana Rashtra Samiti did. Yet, the BJP will get another partner in the NDA fold if the two parties join hands.

A BJP leader said though it is too early to commit, the TDP is going through a change of heart after it snapped ties with the NDA post-power  sharing during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s regime.
Naidu and Singh held almost an hour-long closed-door meeting here. Naidu later told reporters that he had briefed the BJP chief on the current situation in Andhra Pradesh.

"This is not the time to discuss politics," Naidu said when asked if there was any possibility of the two parties getting together ahead or after the Lok Sabha elections.

Singh, too, denied any talk of a political alliance during their meeting held in the evening.
The TDP, which had given its consent for the creation of Telangana to the Home Ministry, is giving confusing signals saying that the decision is one-sided.

Though the party might not have much influence in the Telangana region, its leaders believe it has presence in east and west Godavari, Guntur and Angol areas of Seemandhra part of Andhra Pradesh.

Earlier, Naidu and his party leaders, including TDP legislative party leader Nama Nageshwar Rao and other MPs and MLAs, discussed the situation in the state with CPM leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury.

Karat later told reporters: “We are all concerned about the situation. We want an amicable and speedy resolution of the problem.” He asked the central government to resolve the crisis.
Naidu also met President Pranab Mukherjee and leaders of political parties in a bid to find an amicable solution to the T-state issue.

In a memorandum to the President, Naidu accused the Congress of dealing with the “sensitive issue” with a “political” hand.

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