N. Chandrababu Naidu, leader of the Telugu Desam Party and former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, rushed to New Delhi on Wednesday to meet the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, amid speculation that his party was after a gap of almost 30 years back to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) could take six years, said a senior TDP leader familiar with the development.
Naidu along with some senior party leaders flew to the state capital in a special flight in the afternoon. “He would hold talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda,” the TDP chief said.
He said in all likelihood, the BJP could join hands with the TDP, which has already entered into an alliance with the Jana Sena Party led by popular actor Pawan Kalyan, to fight together in Andhra Pradesh for the upcoming elections. The Jana Sena Party, on the other hand, has an alliance with the BJP in the state.
“While Naidu and top BJP leaders may come to a broad agreement on forming an alliance, they may not discuss the seat-sharing issues immediately. “This would be done at the state level,” the TDP chief said.
Once the alliance with the TDP is formalized, the BJP leadership will propose it for formal ratification at the party's parliamentary board meeting scheduled for February 9, he said.
The TDP chief said the talks would initially be limited to the BJP joining the TDP-Jana Sena Party alliance. “The issue of TDP joining the NDA will come up at a later stage only after the TDP comes to power in Andhra Pradesh. In any case, there is no option before the TDP but to join the NDA if the state has to get financial support from the Centre,” the party leader said.
The TDP was part of the NDA government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi between 2014 and 2018. However, in March 2018, the TDP broke ties with the BJP and quit the NDA in protest against the non-implementation of promises made in the AP Reorganization Act, 2014, including granting special category status to AP.
In 2018, Naidu joined hands with the Congress party to form a grand alliance by uniting various national and regional parties to fight against the Narendra Modi government. But when Modi returned to power in 2019 and the TDP lost power to the YSR Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh, Naidu had to retreat.
He then made attempts to reach out to the BJP by praising Modi's leadership and meeting the BJP's national leaders a few times. But the BJP did not take his overtures seriously and adopted a wait-and-see attitude.
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