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BJP and TDP are fair-weather friends

comment Updated: Apr 08, 2014 09:44 IST

The return of TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu to the NDA alliance, a decade after parting ways, does not come as a surprise.

Opinion polls have suggested that if the TDP were to return to the NDA it would boost the chances of the alliance both in Telangana and Seemandhra.

The confidence exuberated by leaders of both the BJP and the TDP on Sunday, when the tie-up was announced, reflected this.

However, many would say that this deal will not be a game changer in the two would-be states. The BJP will be contesting 13 Lok Sabha seats and 62 assembly seats from undivided Andhra Pradesh, though the final plan is yet to be chalked out.

Mr Naidu is no longer the ‘hi-tech’, reformer chief minister he once was. The Congress, which routed the TDP in 2004, may be a pale shadow of what it was, but other parties have moved into that political space.

The K Chandrashekar Rao-led TRS and the Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSR Congress have gained where the two national parties and the TDP have lost.

The alliance has also seen discontent within the TDP and in the state BJP unit — TDP members staged a protest outside Mr Naidu’s house and the BJP’s Telangana and Seemandhra unit chiefs were not present during Sunday’s announcement.

Mr Naidu, in an interview in November 2004, might have blamed the TDP’s poll debacle in the state on its alliance with the BJP — he even attributed the communal riots in Gujarat to have negatively impacted the TDP’s chances — but today political necessities have forced him to sing a different tune.

The TDP-BJP alliance is symbiotic in many ways: It gives the BJP an important ally in the southern state and it gives the TDP a presence at the Centre, if an NDA government comes to power.