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Is TDP is cosying upto the BJP?

Leaving no stone unturned, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is making the most of every opportunity it can get to be in the good books of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, TDP Chief N. Chandrababu Naidu has been interacting with the Central government through his foundation which is working on COVID hotspots prediction. 
 
Through the think-tank’s work, NITI Aayog and Health Ministry have been in touch with Chandrababu’s team. However, this kind of work for the country which TDP chief took up voluntarily to serve the country also gave him opportunities to interact with the Prime Minister and other key BJP leaders. Despite the interactions being for non-political work, ties between the TDP and BJP seem to be gradually mending. 
 
It is clear that the TDP is looking at every opportunity to impress the BJP, as a political strategy for the next elections. However, BJP also seems to be costing upto the TDP despite the state’s BJP leaders denying that fact. In fact, central BJP leadership has been on cordial terms with the TDP high command ever since the beginning of this years. 
 
Simultaneously, the BJP is also slowly getting averse to the current YSRCP’s gimmicks and recklessness in Andhra Pradesh. While politically the BJP needs YSRCP’s support in the Rajya Sabha, it is keeping the party at a safe distance. 
 
This is clear with the fact that the BJP was not interested to have YSRCP as a partner in the NDA government. Apparently, BJP bosses opined that it could affect their stand against corruption if the YSRCP joined NDA because of several cases against Jagan in money laundering and corruption. So, the BJP is carefully weighing its options while currently it is leveraging the support of YSRCP but keeping it guessing. 
 
Going by this kind of strategy of the saffron party, it is clear that this gap could become a political advantage if the TDP utilises it and pulls the right strings at the right time. At the Centre and across India, Chandrababu Naidu is seen as a valuable leader who has many friends in politics. The BJP also needs to be aware that there could be valuable ally in the TDP which could also help the saffron party gain other political friends in future.
 
In this context, it is important to note that Chandrababu Naidu is not a threat to Narendra Modi or BJP’s national politics. That is because he has clarified his stand several times that he shall stick to regional politics. The BJP also needs to realise that strong regional leaders like Chandrababu can be great allies to the NDA, if they are given freedom in their own states, promoting the true spirit of cooperative federalism. 
 
Given that there are no elections in Andhra Pradesh in the near future, the BJP is currently not giving out any indications about its stand. On the other hand, its signs for ties for TDP could become much evident when elections get closer. It is expected that momentum in the state may pick up at end of 2021 or beginning of 2022.
 
Going by the current political scenario in the country and Andhra Pradesh, the TDP needs to begin its ground work for the next elections, even if it doesn’t strike a political alliance with the BJP or any other party. Whether the elections are in 2022 (as simultaneous elections) or 2024, the TDP needs to begin preparing well for the poll battle that may intensify in the year ahead!  
 

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