Smiling for the cameras, leaders from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the BJP on Friday announced that the alliance was back on track. But on the ground, cadre and candidates from both parties admit that the tie-up is an uneasy one, with cracks remaining on Saturday after the filing of nominations concluded in Seemandhra.
The pact was meant to achieve a common target – make Narendra Modi the Prime Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu the chief minister of Seemandhra.
But TDP leaders complain that the weak BJP candidates will harm them and have put up their candidates in a few assembly seats allotted to the BJP, to prevent any benefit to rival YSR Congress.
“This is certainly an uneasy alliance, at least for me,” a TDP Lok Sabha candidate told HT. “The ability to win should be the sole criteria but the BJP went against the basic tenet and picked a weak candidate in their allotted assembly segment. This would have a bearing on my Lok Sabha seat,” he said.
Barely a day after differences in the alliance were resolved, at least three of BJP’s 13 seats — Santanutalapadu, Guntakal and Rajahmundry (Urban) — also have TDP candidates, BJP sources said. The saffron party had originally been given 14 assembly seats but gave up Ichchapuram in return for seats in the legislative council. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is April 23.
Seemandhra — that has 25 Lok Sabha seats and 175 assembly seats — goes to the polls on May 7 with the latest NDTV survey giving the alliance 15+ seats.
“There is trouble over a few seats but it would not affect our overall prospects as the trend is in favour of TDP-BJP,” Kambhampati Haribabu, BJP Seemandhra president told HT. “We’ll resolve the remaining issues.”
Other reasons behind TDP’s discontent — BJP’s nomination of D Purandeswari from Rajampet and the BJP snub to R Krishnamraju, a friend of Naidu, from Narsapur — also remain. Purandeswari, ex- Union minister and TDP founder NT Rama Rao’s daughter, shares a strained relationship with the TDP chief.
Even in some segments in Telangana, cadre of either party aren’t enthusiastic to back candidates belonging to the other since their own leaders have been denied a ticket from their constituencies owing to the alliance.