TDP chief Naidu in Delhi amid buzz of alliance with BJP

Chandrababu Naidu
Chandrababu Naidu

New Delhi | Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu arrived here on Thursday and may meet senior BJP leaders amid a buzz that the two parties are likely to revive their alliance for Lok Sabha and assembly polls, which will be held simultaneously in Andhra Pradesh.

The TDP was part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance but exited in 2018 when Naidu was the state's chief minister.

Sources said both parties are open to joining hands but a lot will depend on whether they reach a mutually agreeable seat-sharing arrangement.

Actor Pawan Kalyan-led Jana Sena Party, which has been a member of the NDA, has already joined hands with the TDP and has been urging the BJP to follow suit.

The development comes amid growing indications that the BJP and the Biju Janata Dal, which is in power in Odisha, are on the verge of finalising their alliance as senior leaders of the two parties held separate meetings on Wednesday and dropped hints of such a possibility.

Naidu had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J P Nadda in February, bolstering speculation that they are headed for an alliance even though things have not crystallised so far.

Sources said both the parties have had differences over the number of seats the BJP will fight in the state where it does not have much presence.

The state has 25 Lok Sabha and 175 assembly seats and the BJP is keen to contest between eight to 10 parliamentary constituencies. A TDP leader said his party believes that giving "too many" seats to the BJP will hand over an advantage to the state's ruling YSR Congress.

What has complicated matters for the BJP is that Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, the president of the YSR Congress, has been unambiguously supportive of the Modi government's agenda in Parliament and shares a good personal rapport with its senior leaders.

The BJP has been working to expand the NDA for some time as it eyes a bigger victory in the Lok Sabha polls, expected in April-May.

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