BJP, TDP strike seat-sharing deal in Telangana, Seemandhra

Brushing aside opposition from a section of its Telangana unit, the BJP central leadership sealed an electoral alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) for the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections and brought back its former ally into the NDA fold after a gap of one decade. Soon after the announcement of the alliance, the BJP Warangal district unit president, Ashok Reddy, quit in protest.

Ending days of wrangling over seat-sharing, senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar and his TDP counterparts burnt the midnight oil on Saturday and finally clinched the deal. As per the understanding, the BJP has been allotted 47 of the 119 Assembly seats and eight of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana and 15 of the 175 Assembly seats and five of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Seemandhra.

TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu parted ways with the NDA following the party’s debacle in 2004, ending a six-year association.

Subsequently, Mr. Naidu dubbed the BJP “communal” on several occasions and declared that his party would have nothing to do with it. Sensing that the BJP would be coming to power at the Centre, he has now joined hands with that party saying he was doing so in “national interest.”

Besides, the TDP feels justice can be secured to the Seemandhra region if it supports the party which is likely to form government at the Centre. The BJP apparently views the return of the TDP as a gain in a key southern State.

While there have been opponents and votaries of the alliance on both sides, Telangana BJP president G. Kishan Reddy was conspicuous by his absence at the press conference where Mr. Naidu and Mr. Javadekar announced the alliance.