Amaravati : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appears to be looking to revive its ties with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) as part of its strategy to bolster its prospects in Telangana and check K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who is going aggressive in forging anti-BJP alliance at national level.
The developments of the last few days indicate that TDP will soon return to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
While this will herald a political realignment in Andhra Pradesh ahead of the 2024 elections, the immediate impact is likely to be on Telangana polls.
With the BJP focusing on Telugu states, especially Telangana, where it wants to check KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, the saffron party needs an alliance with the TDP.
Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh are due to be held only in 2024 along with the Lok Sabha polls but the immediate challenge before the saffron party is next year’s elections in Telangana.
With KCR going aggressive to play a key role in national politics, the BJP appears to have stepped up its efforts to checkmate him on his home turf.
Series of visits by top BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J. P. Nadda to Telangana, the conduct of the party’s national executive meeting in Hyderabad and the aggressive strategy being adopted by the BJP’s Telangana leadership all point to the saffron party’s game plan to counter KCR.
It is in this context that the recent developments have assumed significance. Though TDP is no longer a major political force in Telangana, the party is still believed to have good support among ‘settlers’ as the people who belong to Andhra and Rayalaseema regions and settled in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana are referred to.
As part of its ‘Mission 2023’, the BJP is focusing on about 32 Assembly constituencies (out of total 119) where settlers are believed to be a deciding factor.
Political analysts are of the view that TDP along with actor Pawan Kalyan-led Jana Sena Party (JSP) can help BJP win a majority of these seats. Most of these constituencies are located in and around Hyderabad.
JSP is already an ally of BJP and Pawan Kalyan has been underlining the need to forge a grand alliance in Andhra Pradesh to defeat Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).
After the recent exit of Nitish Kumar from NDA, the BJP is also in need of pre-poll alliances. The saffron party may not be in a hurry for an alliance in Andhra Pradesh as YSRCP has been extending vital support in Parliament and outside whenever required.
However, Jana Sena fared better than BJP, which failed to retain four Assembly and two Lok Sabha seats which it had won in 2014. The saffron party’s vote share was less than one per cent.
YSRCP wrested power from TDP by bagging 151 seats. The TDP was a distant second with 23 seats.— IANS