New Delhi: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of 400 Lok Sabha seats in mind, the Bharatiya Janata Party is considering an alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh.
TDP supremo N Chandrababu Wednesday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda to thrash out the details of seat sharing for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Interestingly, the TDP has already entered an alliance with Jana Sena. The Jana Sena has been an ally of the BJP over the last several years.
Sources stated that the BJP may ask for between six to eight Lok Sabha seats from Andhra, while the Jana Sena may get two Lok Sabha seats. The remaining seats are likely to be contested by TDP, sources said.
NCBN is expected to be accorded the big brother's role in the state for both Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
While earlier the BJP wasn’t willing to consider a re-entry of NCBN to the saffron fold, the saffron party’s willingness to put a strong alliance together to achieve the targeted 400 seats shows its commitment to winning in general elections, sources pointed out. A sentiment that was also shown by the BJP while bringing back Nitish Kumar into the saffron fold recently.
The BJP knows that Andhra Pradesh is one of its weakest links in achieving the 400 plus NDA dream, hence the relook at the earlier position of the party as the state elects 25 members to the lower house of the Parliament, sources added.
As Andhra goes to polls for Assembly and Lok Sabha polls together, the party feels that bringing NCBN back on board would allow it to secure a proper foothold in the state.
Jana Sena chief and actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan has over the past few months worked for the reemergence of the alliance in the state, even meeting PM Modi to push for the saffron alliance cause.
The TDP had snapped ties with the BJP and exited the NDA in March 2018 over the demand for special status for Andhra Pradesh.
The announcement by NCBN that the 2024 polls would be the last electoral battle of his political career is being seen as another positive by the BJP for allowing him back into the NDA.
The NDA allies are expected to use a strong Hindutva pitch and issues like growing conversion by Christian missionaries in the state while targeting the Jagan Mohan Reddy government.
The aim would be to reach out to the Hindu voters amid the ongoing euphoria after the Pran Pratishtha at Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
Interestingly, knowing the importance of the occasion, NCBN had been one of the few senior politicians from the opposition to be present at the religious ceremony, sources pointed out.
It is also believed that YSRCP’s major vote base is confined to neo-converts to the Christian faith. However, the YSRCP is seemingly battling anti-incumbency which the proposed saffron troika alliance wants to encash.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, the YSRCP had swept to power, bagging 151 seats in the 175-member Assembly. It also secured 22 out of 25 Lok Sabha seats.
The BJP had drawn a blank and now the party hopes to make amends and grow its political base in Andhra and emerge as a force to reckon with.
If the BJP is able to create a formidable saffron alliance in Andhra, it could really boost its own prospects of securing PM Modi’s targeted 400 figure in Lok Sabha.