Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday indicates that the BJP has many options when it comes to Andhra Pradesh as the state’s ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) is interested in friendly ties and the main opposition. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) waiting to be welcomed back into the NDA fold.
The long-awaited meeting, during which Jagan allegedly repeated the demand for Special category status for AndhraIt lasted about 30 minutes and went well, the CM told reporters.
Incidentally, Jagan’s meeting with Modi came immediately after discussions between the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda at the new Parliament building.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, who has been in the national capital for a couple of days and met Shah earlier, would have been closely monitoring the development. Sources from both sides later indicated that the BJP had reached an agreement with the TDP and its ally the Jana Sena Party (JSP) for the simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha elections to be held in Andhra.
Under Jagan, the YSRCP has extended support to the BJP at the Center in its legislative initiatives on almost all critical occasions. However, a section of the BJP is said to have become angry with him for delaying a formal alliance. The YSRCP, which enjoys minority support in the state, is believed to have feared that an alliance could affect its prospects in both the state and national elections.
Sources said Jagan’s comments earlier this week that he wanted no party to come to power with an absolute majority in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, as that left states with little bargaining power, also did not go down well. among the BJP. Another black mark against the YSRCP chief is believed to have been Naidu’s dramatic arrest in the alleged skill development corporation scam amid the Modi government’s G20 summit last September.
The YSRCP, however, is keen on getting on the right side of the BJP, and its leaders said the party would not attack the BJP even if it eventually allies itself with the TDP-JSP. “Why should we attack the BJP? “We have a policy of equidistance,” said a senior party leader.
Incidentally, Jagan is also facing pressure from central agencies while the party is aware of the risk of poaching by the BJP. According to sources, at least two sitting MPs are in “discussions” with the BJP to migrate. Two MPs recently left the party: Raghu Rama Krishna Raju (Narasapuram) and Lavu Sri Krishna Devarayalu (Narasaraopet).
In the case of the TDP, while it is willing to share five to six seats with the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP, which wants to win maximum seats on its own symbol, has demanded more, sources said. The two parties have reportedly been holding talks for several months and there will now be further talks on seat sharing. Naidu may not put up much resistance as, sources said, he wants to regain the “trust and support of BJP leaders” to “protect the interests of his party” as he fights to return to power.
The BJP central leadership sees it as a win-win situation as friendly ties with the YSRCP plus an official alliance with the TDP-JSP would secure at least some of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra, where prospects of the party are considered gloomy. . In 2019, the YSRCP had won 22 of the seats and the TDP 3.
The state unit of the BJP, however, has had reservations about a union. Many state leaders believe that going alone is better for the BJP to strengthen its cadre and spread its roots in the southern state.
The Congress, which had been reduced to a mere spectator in the previous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state after failing to win any seats, is hoping that a friendly triangular contest between the BJP, TDP and YSRCP could prove beneficial. He is also fired up after his victory in the Telangana Assembly polls last year.
© The Indian Express Pvt Ltd
First uploaded on: 09/02/2024 at 21:02 IST