Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on June 3 (Saturday) has triggered speculation about the BJP-TDP alliance.
As per information, Mr. Naidu had briefed Mr. Amit Shah about the political situation in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and emphasised the need for an electoral alliance.
The Jana Sena Party (JSP), which is already in alliance with the BJP, has been advocating a tripartite understanding. Its president Pawan Kalyan has been underlining the need for unity among the opposition parties in the State to ensure that the anti-government votes are not split.
In this backdrop, the meeting has triggered speculation over the possible electoral understanding between the TDP and the BJP not just in Andhra Pradesh but also in Telangana.
But, neither the TDP nor the BJP has disclosed what transpired in the meeting.
It is widely believed that that the TDP leadership is keen on rapprochement with the BJP.
Mr. Naidu, who had been highly critical of the BJP leadership after he parted ways with the NDA in 2018-19, has of late been making overtures to the saffron party.
During a programme organised by a TV channel recently, Mr. Naidu had showered praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, describing him as a visionary who was “upholding the prestige of the nation and displaying to the world the strength of India.” Mr. Naidu had even said that he was willing to associate with Mr. Modi in the nation-building process.
The TDP had also backed Droupadi Murmu, the NDA’s candidate for the President’s election, last year.
But a few BJP leaders in Andhra Pradesh are opposed to any alliance with the TDP.
Mr. Naidu’s meeting with Mr. Amit Shah was the first after he walked out of the NDA ahead of the 2019 elections.
Mr. Naidu had snapped ties with the BJP in protest against the BJP’s reluctance to grant Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Naidu had then stressed the need for a front comprising like-minded people to take on the BJP at the Centre. He had even accused the Central government of destroying the democratic spirit of the country.
It is said that the debacle in Karnataka has made the BJP focus on other States in South India, especially Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
TDP sources, however, said that the meeting materialised on Saturday though Mr. Naidu had sought the appointment of Mr. Amit Shah and other BJP leaders some time ago.