TBA Opinion

Is BJP now looking for TDP’s help to fight Telugu States’ Elections?

If the current rumors are anything to go by, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now looking to revive its ties with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). But, why is a party with absolute majority looking for a tie-up with a small regional party? To set the context, BJP and TDP’s ties hit rock-bottom in 2018 when the regional party pulled out of the NDA just before the 2019 elections. 

The Centre did not fulfill its promises to the state of Andhra post-bifurcation. This made the TDP believe that it has a bargaining chip with the NDA once it pulls out. But, things didn’t work out for TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu and his party once he became part of the anti-BJP front. Neither was there unity, nor was there trust in the anti-NDA front which included the Congress, Trinamool Congress, RJD, BJD, Akali Dal, SP, RLD and others. So, eventually, the BJP played its cards against the TDP and ensured that it had allied with TDP’s opposing party, the YSRCP and made the party win the elections in Andhra in 2019. This brought Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy to power as the Chief Minister, eventually, bringing the state down. 

Currently, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appears to be looking to revive its ties with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) as part of its strategy to bolster its prospects in Telangana and put a check to K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi (BRS) ahead of the 2024 elections. The developments in the last few days indicate that TDP will soon return to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). While this will herald a political realignment in Andhra Pradesh ahead of the 2024 elections, the immediate impact is likely to be on Telangana polls. 

In recent media appearances, TDP Chief Chandrababu has been making statements in favour of the BJP. In an interview with Republic TV, he commended Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his 2047 Vision for India and reiterated that “TDP will work with the BJP because we believe that 2047 Vision for India will make India the No.1 economy in the world.” He also said that the TDP is ready to align with anyone who will work for the country’s development. 

But, what led to this sudden change in BJP’s mood and behaviour towards the TDP? The BJP’s duo – Modi and Shah – vowed to destroy Chandrababu’s political career and worked towards it in the last 5 years, eventually ruining the state’s future potential for development. But, this sudden u-turn by the BJP high command is shocking, given how it’s now sucking upto the TDP. Apparently, sources say that the allegations against the BJP in the Pulwama attack is something that is slowly revealing the party’s real face to the people. Hence, the BJP believes that shifting narrative onto development and Vision which Chandrababu has been a pioneer of, could do the saffron party some good. 

But, how long will this bitter-sweet relationship last? And, will KCR turn against Andhra now and again rake up the Telangana sentiment? The answer is just a wait and watch game.

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Tejaswini Pagadala

Communications Consultant: TEJASWINI PAGADALA is an independent communications consultant. She has previously worked with the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office as the Communications Officer where she has written English speeches for the CM, managed English media communication from the CMO and handled social media accounts of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and the Government.
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