Will the Telugu Desam Party snap ties with the BJP? This news has been doing the rounds ever since the Union Budget 2018 was presented last week and the TDP led by Chandrababu Naidu had expressed unhappiness over the allocation to Andhra Pradesh.
However for now, Naidu has overruled the demands made by some of his MPs to snap ties with the BJP. The Jagan Mohan Reddy led YSR Congress is reportedly warming up tot he BJP and this is one of the main reasons why the TDP is unlikely to snap ties with the BJP.
According to a party MP, TDP leaders were in favour of snapping ties with the BJP-led NDA, but Naidu overruled them. He also indicated that the current time may not be ripe to break the alliance.
"In politics, there is always a tomorrow. If not, there is the day after tomorrow," Naidu told his party MPs and senior leaders at a party meeting convened here yesterday.
Though the meeting was summoned to discuss the alleged "raw deal" meted out to Andhra Pradesh in the Union Budget, a speculation was rife that the TDP, the only ally of the saffron party in south India, may walk out of the NDA fold over the BJP's "treatment" to the party.
TDP leader and Union minister Y Satyanarayana Chowdary said that its alliance with the BJP in Andhra Pradesh and the Centre was very much alive.
"Yes, he (Chandrababu) is totally upset (with the Centre's attitude towards the state) but his political shrewdness was on display during the hour of crisis. And that dissipated all talks of breaking the alliance with the BJP," a first-time MP said after attending the meeting.
He said almost all of the TDP leaders had favoured snapping of ties with the BJP. "However, our leader exercised caution saying there will always be another day (in politics)," the MP said. In Andhra Pradesh, the TDP's bete noire YSR Congress has been waiting in the wings to embrace the BJP.
Moreover, the TDP seems to have realised that a tough posturing at this juncture could only jeopardise the southern state's interests at a time it relies largely on the Central support to convert various major projects like capital city Amaravati, Polavaram etc into reality.
According to a confidante of Naidu, the TDP chief understood the "Delhi dynamics" well during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi in mid-January. "What happened in New Delhi during a couple of his recent trips, particularly the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in mid-January, presented a clear perspective of the Delhi dynamics and, thus, he was reconciled to the fact that this was not the opportune time for an aggressive political action," the senior MP said. At yesterday's meeting,
Naidu said the TDP is a disciplined party and a "trusted ally". The TDP chief also told his party leaders not to cross the line of discipline and asked them to "maintain dignity".
"We are unlike the Shiv Sena or some other party. Ours is a disciplined party and we have to be dignified. We are always known as a trusted ally and we should not let that image affected. "Don't indulge in loose talk. I know you people have been going around (in New Delhi) claiming I will become a king-maker once again in 2019. I don't want all this.
My only interest is the state and I don't want to be a king-maker or anything else," Naidu told the meeting which was attended by Y Satyanarayana Chowdary, party MPs and leaders. The TDP has 15 MPs in Lok Sabha.