YSR Congress claims BJP approached Jaganmohan Reddy for alliance in 2014 polls
The YSR Congress Party, the main opposition in Andhra Pradesh, on Tuesday claimed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was keen about an alliance with it rather than the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the 2014 general and state assembly elections, a claim denied by the saffron party.
Senior YSRC member of Parliament Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy said the BJP was compelled to join hands with the TDP only after his party decided against forging an alliance with any political party in the last elections.
“During the 2014 elections, some senior BJP leaders contacted our party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy and proposed an alliance between the BJP and the YSRC. However, Jagan did not evince much interest as he was against any pre-poll alliances. Our party wanted to go it alone in the elections and we were confident of facing the elections on our own,” Reddy, who represents Nellore parliamentary constituency, said while speaking to the media in New Delhi.
He said following Jagan’s reluctance, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu grabbed the opportunity and negotiated with the BJP leadership for an alliance.
“The BJP leaders contacted Jagan once again and asked him to consider the alliance offer again as Naidu was already knocking their doors expressing eagerness to join hands with the BJP,” Reddy said.
“They said if the YSRC was not keen, the BJP would be compelled to forge an alliance with the TDP. Yet, Jagan did not show any interest in the proposal. And Naidu, riding on the Narendra Modi wave, came to power in Andhra Pradesh,” he added.
He also described Naidu as a rank opportunist, who could quickly change stand for political benefits.
He said in the 2004 elections when the TDP lost power in the state along with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre, Naidu did not hesitate even for a moment in describing his party’s alliance with the BJP as the biggest political blunder.
“Now that he has realised that Modi’s political graph was coming down, he decided to get out of the NDA ending the four-year honeymoon with the BJP. If Modi’s wave picks up strength again, Naidu will be the first person to come back into the NDA fold,” Reddy said.
The YSRC leader said his party will consider joining the government at the Centre, irrespective of which party would come to power, after the elections in the interest of the state.
“If the party that comes to power at the Centre requires the support of the YSRC MPs, we don’t hesitate to extend our support, provided it suits the interests of Andhra Pradesh,” Reddy added.
The BJP, however, dismissed the YSRC’s claim that it had approached the regional party for an alliance.
“We never had any plans to have an alliance with the YSRC, let alone approaching the party. We only had the TDP in mind at that point in time,” the party’s spokesperson in Andhra Pradesh Shyam Kishore Jammula said.
Kishore, who was also part the BJP’s election committee in 2014, said as far as he remembered nobody from the central leadership had contacted Jagan for an alliance.
“There was no discussion in the party at any stage with regard to a pre-poll alliance with the YSRC,” he clarified.