Efforts to hammer out an electoral understanding between the BJP and the Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh have succeeded after week-long nerve-wracking deliberations, which were often punctuated by the intervention of the BJP central leadership. But there was no air of bonhomie when TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar announced that the BJP was being allotted 47 Assembly and 8 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana and 15 Assembly and 5 Parliamentary seats in Seemandhra region.
Conspicuous by his absence at the press conference addressed by the TDP and BJP leaders was the BJP Telangana unit president G. Kishan Reddy. He steadfastly opposed the alliance and did not participate in the seat-sharing talks. That the alliance did not go down well was evident with the outburst of anger among BJP leaders, who protested vehemently. In fact, the rural and urban presidents of the party in Rangareddy district had tendered their resignations too.
If this was so, the TDP too faced severe opposition from the rank and file over seats being allotted to the BJP. Revanth Reddy, a vociferous leader, threatened to contest the Malkajigiri Lok Sabha seat, left for the BJP. Another senior leader in Guntur, Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, too was dumbstruck when Mr. Naidu conceded his Narsaraopet Assembly segment to the BJP. With similar protests erupting in other districts too, leaders of the both the parties now wonder whether the crucial vote-transfer would take place and help them at the hustings.
Conceptually, the electoral understanding between the BJP and the TDP should be benefiting both. The BJP, whose influence is limited to some pockets in urban centres and towns, had managed to gain some foothold in Telangana with its unequivocal stand on bifurcation of the State. On the contrary, the TDP was on the backfoot as the entire region of Telangana with 119 Assembly seats and 17 parliamentary seats was engulfed in the agitation for formation of Telangana state.
The TDP supremo, wary of losing support in the Seemandhra region if he supported Telangana, said Telangana and Seemandhra regions were like two eyes for him. However, his stand was not appreciated by people and the popularity of TDP was on the wane. That was the time when the BJP popularity charts were rising because of its unequivocal stand on bifurcation of the State in Telangana, while it was losing out in the Seemandhra region.
With the Modi factor gaining momentum, the BJP set its eyes on winning as many parliamentary seats as possible in Andhra Pradesh. Clearly, its focus was more on Lok Sabha seats.