Alliance in trouble, Chandrababu Naidu to speak to Narendra Modi today
Hyderabad – The 11-day-old alliance between the BJP and Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party seems headed for trouble over candidates being fielded by the BJP. Mr Naidu is expected to talk to Narendra Modi and BJP president Rajnath Singh today to iron out differences. (Elections 2014: Full Coverage)
The TDP has insisted that the BJP change some of the candidates it is fielding in the 14 Assembly seats that it will contest under their pact in the Seemandhra regions of Andhra Pradesh. The BJP is also contesting four Lok Sabha seats. (Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP seals the deal with BJP amid protests)
Mr Naidu’s party has argued that the BJP has picked several weak candidates for the Assembly elections being held in the state along with the general elections and that fielding them could affect the prospects of the TDP’s Lok Sabha candidates.
The state BJP has reportedly told its partner, much to Mr Naidu’s chagrin, that he has no business interfering on seats already allotted to them. (Alliance with BJP a political compulsion, says Chandrababu Naidu)
TDP sources say they will give the BJP time till Saturday and if it does not withdraw those candidates, Mr Naidu could consider fielding his own candidates in those seats. Political observers see this more as posturing and tough talk; the TDP, they say, has too much to lose by backing out of its alliance with the BJP, seen as a frontrunner in the national elections.
The TDP leaders however say they could always look at a post-poll understanding.
The much-hyped return of Chandrababu Naidu to the national alliance led by the BJP was secured after intense negotiations, overriding protests from local leaders of both parties, earlier this month. BJP leaders in the state grumble that the alliance only benefits the TDP.
While top leaders on both sides, including Chandrababu Naidu, have issued feel-good statements about the partnership, there have reportedly been other sore points. Mr Naidu is said to be have opposed his sister-in-law and political rival D Purandeshwari contesting the general elections as part of the TDP-BJP bandwagon. Ms Purandeshwari recently quit the Congress to join the BJP, which has decided to field her in Rajampet. (Narendra Modi and I are youngsters of 60 plus: Chandrababu Naidu)
Mr Naidu’s party is also said to unhappy that actor Pawan Kalyan, the younger brother of actor and Congressman Chiranjeevi, who has recently launched his own party, may field independents against TDP candidates as Vijayawada Lok Sabha seat was not given to someone of his choice.