BJP, TDP have come to understanding for alliance in upcoming polls: Chandrababu Naidu

Telugu Desam Party Chief N Chandrababu Naidu with Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan during the announcement of their first joint list of 118 seats for the forthcoming Assembly polls.
Telugu Desam Party Chief N Chandrababu Naidu with Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan during the announcement of their first joint list of 118 seats for the forthcoming Assembly polls.

New Delhi | The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is set to join the NDA as the regional outfit and the BJP sealed their alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and Andhra Pradesh Assembly election on Saturday in talks involving former state chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the national party's president, J P Jadda.

TDP president Naidu told a group of reporters following the talks that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Jana Sena Party, led by actor Pawan Kalyan, and his party have arrived at an understanding for an alliance for the elections likely to be held in April-May, expressing confidence that together, they will sweep the polls.

The Lok Sabha and Assembly polls will be held simultaneously in Andhra Pradesh.

Lashing out at the state's ruling YSR Congress Party and Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, Naidu said, "Andhra Pradesh has been destroyed badly. The BJP and the TDP coming together is a win-win situation for the country and the state."

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, he said several good things are happening in the country under his government but the southern state has been going backward.

While wealth creation is a top priority for Modi, "wealth destruction" is the top priority for the YSR Congress, Naidu said.

Though he did not specify the number of seats each party in the alliance will contest, sources said the BJP and the Jana Sena may together contest around eight Lok Sabha and 30 Assembly seats. The TDP is likely to field candidates from the remaining 17 Lok Sabha and 145 Assembly seats.

The BJP, which is eying to boost its Lok Sabha tally, may contest six parliamentary and as many Assembly seats in the southern state, the sources said.

Naidu and Kalyan held a second round of talks with the senior BJP leaders, after meeting them first on Thursday.

The two-term former chief minister played down his past differences with the BJP, asserting that having the same alliance in governments at the Centre and in the state will be a big boost for Andhra Pradesh.

The TDP exited the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 2018 after its demand that the Centre should grant special category status to the southern state was not met. The BJP has maintained that its government at the Centre has been fulfilling all the commitments made to Andhra Pradesh.

The BJP is seen as the favourite to retain power in the Lok Sabha polls, with Modi repeatedly expressing confidence of returning to the helm for a third term. He has set a target of winning 370 seats for the BJP and more than 400 for the NDA of the total 543 Lok Sabha seats.

The BJP won 303 seats in 2019 as Modi led the party to power for a second consecutive term with a bigger victory than 2014, when it secured its first-ever majority in the House.

Naidu praised Modi for promoting India globally, bringing about reforms and making the country "number one" in terms of growth, among other measures.

It will be a "great advantage" to have the same alliance in power at the Centre and in Andhra Pradesh, he asserted.

Naidu is learnt to have invited the prime minister to attend a proposed joint rally of the alliance in Guntur on March 17. Incidentally, the Congress has also planned a rally in Mumbai on the same day to mark the end of the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.

There is also a buzz that the BJP may have a get together of principal NDA leaders to highlight the growing strength of its alliance, which was recently joined by Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar.

The BJP is also in talks with Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for an alliance.

Naidu, Kumar and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik were BJP allies in the past as well but had severed ties with the saffron party at different points of time.

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