BJP not ruling out tie-up with Telugu Desam

BJP not ruling out tie-up with Telugu Desam

BJP not ruling out tie-up with Telugu Desam

 The BJP on Tuesday made it clear that it had not yet taken any decision on forging electoral alliance with the Telugu Desam Party led by former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

“We are holding discussions at the national level about alliances. We are yet to take a decision with regard to any tie-up in Andhra Pradesh,” party president Rajnath Singh said. He was here to attend a public meeting organised by the party’s city unit to celebrate the creation of separate Telangana state.

“Several parties are keen to have an alliance with the BJP. We are continuing the discussions. No decision has been taken with regard to Andhra Pradesh,” Singh told reporters amid intense speculation in political circles that the TDP and the BJP were on the verge of firming up an electoral understanding.

Naidu is said to be keen on forging a tie-up with the saffron party and shore up his party’s poll prospects on back of the growing popularity of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

However, there is a sense of irony to Naidu’s eagerness to align with the saffron party.  Soon after losing power in the 2004 elections, the TDP ended its seven year-long alliance with the BJP. However, the changed political dynamics in the state, in the wake of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and emergence of Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy as a formidable political force, appear to have prompted Naidu to look up to the saffron party to improve his party’s prospects in the coming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

The TDP was among the first alliance partners of the NDA to demand dismissal of Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister after the 2002 anti-Muslim riots. After walking out of NDA, it had dubbed BJP as “communal party”. Since then, the TDP has been attempting an image makeover by abandoning its pro-reforms baggage and embracing populism with gusto to earn a pro-poor tag.

For Naidu, who was AP’s chief minister between 1995 and 2004, the political pendulum appears to be swinging from left to the right. In the 2009 polls, his party had an alliance with the Left parties but it is now gravitating towards the BJP.