Both parties reportedly agree to soften their stand after Javadekar holds telephonic talk with a senior TDP leader

A day after Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s tough posturing on the deadlock over stitching up an alliance with the BJP, some headway appears to have been made on seat-sharing. A deal could be sealed in next few days.

Senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar reportedly had a telephonic conversation on Tuesday with a TDP leader and both sides showed willingness to climb down from their positions. “There is a little bit of softening from both the sides,” said BJP sources. Both the sides exchanged lists of constituencies and broadly identified the seats to be contested by each party.

Indications are that BJP might settle for 48 Assembly and nine Lok Sabha seats as against its strong demand for 64 Assembly and 11 Lok Sabha constituencies in Telangana and 18 Assembly (seven less than what it had sought) and five Lok Sabha seats in Seemandhra region.

Even while awaiting a formal electoral pact, cadres of both the parties went ahead with adjustments for the ZPTC and MPTC elections. A senior BJP leader rued that position of both the parties could have been “wonderful” had they arrived at an agreement much earlier.

Following differences within Telangana BJP leaders on having an alliance with TDP, the BJP central party deputed Mr. Javadekar to sort out the issue. Although he held a few rounds of discussions with Telangana BJP leaders and senior RSS functionaries from the region last week, not much progress was achieved as some Telangana BJP leaders insisted that TDP should concede larger chunk of seats to BJP and remain a junior partner in the region.

It is learnt that they quoted recent surveys to show that BJP’s vote share in Telangana improved to 14-16 per cent, while that of TDP dipped to 7-8 per cent. They also informed Mr. Javadekar that TDP candidates lost deposit in 15 of the 18 by-elections held since 2010 in Telangana and 15 MLAs deserted the party in the last five years.

However, the argument that TDP has weakened in the region was countered by Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, who said TDP had an alliance with Left and TRS in 2009 and left 45 seats to TRS then. He wanted the BJP to go by past precedents in seat-sharing and mentioned how both the parties won 36 Lok Sabha seats in alliance in1999.