TDP to stick with NDA, rules out support to INDIA bloc

TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu along with his family celebrates the party's victory in Assembly and Parliamentay polls, at their residence in Undavalli, Amaravati, Tuesday, June 4, 2024.
TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu along with his family celebrates the party's victory in Assembly and Parliamentay polls, at their residence in Undavalli, Amaravati, Tuesday, June 4, 2024.

New Delhi | As the BJP grapples with a potential shortfall in its Lok Sabha tally, its ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has unequivocally pledged allegiance to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), dismissing any speculation of a pivot towards the INDIA bloc.

The Election Commission's data till 7 pm paints a challenging picture for the BJP - 89 seats secured and leading in 150 more. This trajectory suggests the party's tally might hover around 240 seats, significantly shy of the 272 needed for a majority, putting every alliance in sharp focus.

The TDP is on its way to win 16 Lok Sabha seats out of 25 in Andhra Pradesh.

"Our pre-poll pact with BJP and Janasena in Andhra Pradesh isn't just political arithmetic; it's a matter of credibility," TDP's senior leader Kanakamedala Ravindrakumar told PTI.

"We will remain part of the NDA. There is absolutely no question of supporting the India Bloc," he said.

The TDP's assertion comes at a time when regional parties are being wooed by both NDA and INDIA blocs.

The Congress has already offered that it will give special category status to Andhra Pradesh, a key demand of the TDP, if the INDIA bloc comes to power.

The TDP's declaration, far from a mere formality, carries the weight of its storied past in coalition politics when it had a bitter parting with the BJP just ahead of the 2019 elections despite being a long-time ally.

Invoking this legacy, Ravindrakumar said, "Chandrababu Naiduji's imprint on national coalitions is indelible. Today, as then, his maneuvers will be guided by Andhra's aspirations. Our NDA alignment is a conduit for the state's progress."

Naidu-led NDA alliance in Andhra Pradesh is also heading for a landslide victory in the state elections, ousting YSRC of Jaganmohan Reddy.

The TDP's strategy is clear—leverage its national alliance for regional dividends. With Andhra's development blueprint heavily contingent on central support, the party is inclined towards continuing in the NDA.

"Our bond with the NDA isn't transactional. It's a shared vision for India, where Andhra's resurgence is integral," said a TDP insider, hinting at long-term political calculations.

As the election's final chapters unfold, the TDP's stance is a stark reminder that regional threads often determine the national pattern in the Indian political diversity. The BJP's hunt for a majority now navigates through the intricate loyalties and ambitions of its allies.

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