After a decade-long separation, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) forged an alliance for the general elections but not before a series of deliberations involving hard bargaining from both sides on seat allotment. After having forged the alliance, the question on the minds of the people is should TDP share power with the BJP at the Centre if NDA comes to power.
TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s son, Nara Lokesh shares his views on the crucial general elections in an interaction with The Hindu.
Will TDP demand berths in the Cabinet if NDA comes to power?
The Telugu Desam is not interested in sharing power. Our priority is people and their welfare. The aspirations of Telangana and Seemandhra people have to be taken care of. As long as it happens, we are open to anything.
If it doesn’t happen, you will get berths in the Cabinet?
Only time will tell that.
Will there be unconditional support from TDP?
Let the elections be over first. As of now we are part of the NDA.
Is there dissidence over the alliance in the party?
Our leader is speaking to the dissidents and convincing them. Alliance is forged taking into consideration the end–result and political benefits. And it is not thrust on the party. The cadre and majority of the leaders have agreed to it.
How do you expect the NDA extending the same gesture in releasing funds as it did during the Vajpayee tenure?
The BJP has agreed to extend financial assistance. The amount of money and assistance Andhra Pradesh received from the Centre was far higher during the TDP-NDA regime compared to YSR’s tenure.
Has it agreed to release additional or special funds for Seemandhra?
We haven’t discussed the details. It’s too early to discuss. We are in the process of finalizing it.
How do you keep your promise of implementing welfare schemes without being part of the government?
I shall be a facilitator to the government and provide my leader Chandrababu Naidu with the feedback. No shadow government. No parallel bureaucracy.
The TDP has apparently failed to prevent the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. People in both the regions feel that TDP betrayed them?
We have plans for both the regions. Telangana has a surplus budget and Seemandhra has to start from scratch with a deficit budget. Seemandhra needs development. He (Naidu) did it in the past by developing Hyderabad and he will repeat it in Seemandhra.