TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu will be holding talks with the top BJP leaders later Wednesday for a tripartite electoral alliance for forthcoming simultaneous elections to Andhra Pradesh Assembly and Lok Sabha.
The talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other leaders are likely to give some clarity over TDP-Jana Sena-BJP alliance to take on ruling YSR Congress Party.
The former chief minister will leave for Gannavaram Airport around 2 p.m. and from there board a special flight to Delhi. He is expected to reach the national capital around 5 p.m.
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Jana Sena headed by actor-politician Pawan Kalyan have already announced electoral alliance. Jana Sena, which is a constituent of BJP-led NDA, has long been trying to rope in the saffron party to join hands with them to defeat Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP.
Naidu and Pawan Kalyan already had a few rounds of talks for seat sharing and reported to have reached a broad consensus.
TDP, which had snapped ties with the BJP in 2018, evinced interest in reviving the alliance after suffering crushing defeat in 2019 elections. However, the BJP had been cold to Naidu’s overtures as YSRCP had maintained friendly ties with the Modi government at the Centre and extended support to it in the Parliament in passing several key bills.
With only a couple of months to go for elections, the pressure was mounting on BJP leadership to take a decision on the alliance. Most of the state BJP leaders are in favour of alliance with TDP-Jana Sena combine.
BJP state president D. Purandeswari, who is sister-in-law of Naidu, had recently submitted a report to the party’s central leadership on the feedback gathered from members of the party’s state executive on the alliance.
Chandrababu Naidu had met Amit Shah and BJP national president J. P. Nadda in June last year. The meeting had triggered speculations of the two parties reviving their alliance.
This was Naidu’s first meeting with Amit Shah since 2018 the TDP pulled out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Pawan Kalyan had campaigned for TDP-BJP alliance in 2014 as Jana Sena had not contested the elections that time.
TDP had formed the first government in the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh in alliance with the BJP. However, Naidu snapped ties with the NDA in 2018 in protest over the delay in grant of special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
Naidu had later joined hands with the Congress party to contest Assembly elections in Telangana. However, the alliance had to bite the dust.
TDP also faced a drubbing in simultaneous elections to Andhra Pradesh Assembly and Lok Sabha in 2019. The YSRCP swept the polls, winning 151 seats in the 175-member Assembly.
TDP could win only 23 Assembly and three out of 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Jana Sena, which too had distanced itself from both BJP and TDP after 2014 elections, contested the previous polls in alliance with the BSP and the Left parties. It, however, could win just one Assembly seat and drew a blank in Lok Sabha polls.
After the 2019 polls, Pawan Kalyan again joined hands with the BJP. He had been making efforts for the last several months to forge a grand alliance of three parties. With BJP remaining reluctant, he announced an alliance with the TDP in September last year.