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Chandrababu’s Delhi visit – What’s brewing?

The hullabaloo around TDP National President and Former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu’s visit to Delhi on August 6th has generated many rumours. What came as a surprise at the “all-party meet” hosted by the Prime Minister is the meet and greet between Chandrababu and PM Narendra Modi. 

While pictures surfaced all over the Internet and made noise about a possible alliance of the TDP again with the NDA (BJP), many have been analysing whether this is going to be true. First, let’s look at whether this will work for the TDP and BJP and then we will look at what if they are not together. 

Scenario 1: TDP & BJP Decide to go for an alliance in 2024 assembly Polls in AP 

In such a scenario where the Telugu Desam Party and the Bharatiya Janata party decide to go for an alliance, they will both benefit out of it. a) TDP and BJP have been alliance partners in the NDA before bifurcation and post-bifurcation too. Chandrababu played a key role in NDA’s decision-making in both instances at the national level. 

This gave Andhra Pradesh the additional boost of Central funds and investments flowing into the state. Additionally, post-2014, it also allowed the BJP to test waters in AP which is a caste-dominant regional state. While BJP is still trying its religion-focussed messaging of Hindutva in Andhra Pradesh, it is still tough for the party to make its inroads in the state. 

Considering the current situation of Andhra Pradesh under the YSRCP-led government which is in a pathetic state economically and development-wise, TDP-BJP will both gain from an alliance. But, one question that the saffron party will have to answer the voters of AP is about why it allowed YSRCP to choose or make destructive policies for the state, that drove employment and investments out of the state. 

Scenario 2: TDP will contest on its own while BJP will look for alliance partner 

In this scenario, the Telugu Desam Party which is now trying to cash in on the anti-incumbency vote against the YSRCP, will have to gain more ground and positive publicity to win over the masses and their support. However, there will be no such loss for the TDP even if it contests the 2024 assembly elections without an alliance because there is already a need for the party to come to power, given the worsening situation in the state. 

On the other hand, this will not be the same with the BJP. The saffron party will have to look for an alliance partner in Jana Sena or continue to ally with the YSRCP for its own gains. In case, BJP and Jana Sena continue to partner, then the saffron party is well aware that it may not gain much ground or its condition may worsen given how JanaSena party’s instability in ideology and messaging. 

And, if it chooses to go with the YSRCP, the BJP will definitely risk losing its image among voters. This damage to BJP’s image could be a long-term one because it will reflect a message on how the party let Andhra go down the drain from being the best performing state to becoming the worst one on all indicators. 

What’s in store?

Therefore, the alliance between the BJP and the TDP will be something that many other political players across India will also look forward to. If BJP and TDP call it a truce, then it could lead to multiple regional parties coming into the NDA’s fold, given how Chandrababu could convince other parties to ally with the BJP. But, if they don’t, then TDP has a lot to gain while BJP will be left in a high and dry situation in Andhra Pradesh. 

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