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Why Does Naidu Want To Align With BJP – and Why Is Jagan Trying To Prevent It?


TELUGU

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Barring any last-minute hiccups that cannot be ruled out in either politics or cricket, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh is all set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

However, seemingly perturbed by the swift moves of both the TDP and BJP, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and YSR Congress chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy acted with remarkable alacrity on Friday, 9 February, and held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, albeit in the guise of redressal of state demands.

It is difficult to assume that the Modi regime is now planning to positively act on the state's long-pending demands, like the Special Category status; therefore, in all likelihood, Jagan's parleys with Modi were more political than administrative. 

But why are both the YSRCP and TDP competing with each other to procure the support of the saffron party, which has no votes to contribute in the state? In fact, any bonhomie with the BJP can even prove to be damaging to these parties, as there is still simmering discontent among the people of Andhra Pradesh against the national parties of Congress and BJP.

Why TDP Cadre Is Not Keen on Alliance

The Congress suffered humiliating defeats in both 2014 and 2019 for bifurcating the state against the wishes of the people of Andhra Pradesh. The BJP, on the other hand, supported the Congress-authored Bifurcation Act – and received less than NOTA votes in the 2019 elections.

The Andhra electorate is even more angry with the BJP because it also denied the Special Category status to the state and failed to act on the promises made on the eve of bifurcation.

There are several other reasons for their disenchantment with the saffron brigade. The Modi government is hell-bent of privatising the Visakhapatnam steel plant, which the people of the state had achieved after a long struggle.

Similarly, the intransigence of the BJP-led central government towards the state government's attempts at three capitals amounts to shunning the Amaravati greenfield capital dream. 

In fact, the TDP rank and file are overwhelmingly against any alliance with the BJP – and there are valid reasons for the TDP cadres' antipathy towards the BJP.

  • They strongly believe that Jagan wouldn't have dared to act with such vengeance on TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu without the tacit support of the Modi-Shah duo. 
  • The Jagan government couldn't have abandoned the Amaravati project if the Modi regime had constrained the state government to this effect.
  • There is no progress in the cases against Jagan by the central agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED), while these agencies are relentlessly running after a host of Opposition leaders.

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