BJP forges alliance with TDP in Andhra; Naidu back into NDA fold after six years | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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BJP forges alliance with TDP in Andhra; Naidu back into NDA fold after six years

Mar 09, 2024 08:23 PM IST

The announcement was made after hectic deliberations between the BJP national leaders including Union home minister Amit Shah and party president J P Nadda with Naidu for the last two day

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday announced forging of an electoral alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) led by former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, paving the way for the TDP’s entry into the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after a gap of six years.

TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu with Union home minister Amit Shah. (File Photo)
TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu with Union home minister Amit Shah. (File Photo)

The announcement was made after hectic deliberations between the BJP national leaders including Union home minister Amit Shah and party president J P Nadda with Naidu for the last two days. Another regional outfit, Jana Sena Party headed by popular actor Pawan Kalyan, which is already a part of the NDA and has entered into an alliance with the TDP recently, will also be a part of the team.

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A statement issued by the BJP, in association with the TDP and the Jana Sena Party on Saturday evening said the three parties had decided to contest the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections together in Andhra Pradesh.

“Under the dynamic and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the three parties are committed for the progress of the country and the upliftment of the state and people of Andhra Pradesh,” the joint statement said.

Stating that the Prime Minister has been working tirelessly for the development and progress of the nation for the last 10 years, the statement said the coming together of the BJP, TDP and Jana Sena Party would help in reaching the aspirations of the people of Andhra Pradesh.

It said the BJP and the TDP had a very old relationship together. “The TDP joined the NDA in 1996 and worked together successfully in Atal Ji’s and Narendra Modi Ji’ government. In 2014, the TDP and the BJP fought the Lok Sabha election and assembly election together. The Jana Sena Party had supported the 2014 general and assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh,” the statement said.

It added that the modalities of seat sharing would be deliberated within a day or two. “We hope that the alliance will come up to the expectations of people of Andhra Pradesh with their wholehearted support of people at large,” the statement said.

Soon after coming out of the talks with Shah at his residence in the afternoon, Naidu held a teleconference with senior TDP leaders and explained to them the gist of the talks. “We are joining the NDA and have signed an agreement with the BJP on seat sharing in the state,” a senior party leader who took part in the teleconference, quoted Naidu as saying.

The TDP chief invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a joint election rally proposed to be held by the TDP and the Jana Sena Party at Chilakaluripet in Guntur district on March 17, where Naidu will be formally announcing his party’s return to the NDA fold.

“This is going to be the first joint rally of the NDA partners in Andhra Pradesh for the ensuing elections. Naidu told us that if Modi doesn’t find time to attend the Chilakaluripet rally, it can be postponed to a later date to suit the Prime Minister’s time,” the party leader quoted above said.

According to this leader, the BJP had asked for eight Lok Sabha seats and about 14 assembly seats from the TDP as part of the negotiations, but Naidu had done a hard bargain. “Finally, the BJP accepted the offer made by Naidu to part with five Lok Sabha seats and six assembly seats. Maybe, the TDP might have to concede a couple of more assembly seats, if there is intense pressure from the local BJP leaders,” he said.

There are, however, still some hiccups in the identification of the seats to be contested by the BJP and they would be resolved in a day or two, the party leader said.

There are in all 175 assembly seats and 25 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh. The TDP has already allocated 24 assembly and three Lok Sabha seats to Jana Sena Party.

Naidu told the party leaders that the announcement of candidates for the remaining seats, after leaving the seats allotted to the BJP and Jana Sena Party, would be done by Monday.

He asked the party top leaders to talk to disgruntled ticket aspirants and convince them about the compulsions the party has in forging an alliance with the Jana Sena and the BJP.

Reacting to the formation of NDA alliance in Andhra Pradesh, Naidu’s son and TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh said the historic alliance would bring Andhra Pradesh back on the growth track.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Nara Lokesh said the alliance marked a significant moment for Andhra Pradesh, which has endured its darkest phase in history over the last five years. “History will regard this alliance as a turning point, a necessity that positively transformed the state and the lives of the people of Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

YSRCP leader and party candidate for Vijayawada Lok Sabha seat Kesineni Nani lashed out at the TDP chief for surrendering the self-respect of the Telugus in New Delhi by joining hands with the BJP.

“Not long ago, Naidu made personal attacks on Modi, saying the latter had no respect for family values. He said he was proud of being the husband of Bhuvaneshwari, father of Lokesh and grandfather of Devansh. He asked what Modi was proud of. Forgetting all his comments, he has now surrendered to the BJP,” he said.

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