Updated December 24th, 2023 at 18:21 IST
Colour me saffron: In Andhra Pradesh, both ruling and opposition parties vie for BJP's attention
Though the BJP didn’t win any Lok Sabha as well as state assembly seats in 2019, the ruling and the oppn parties in Andhra are keen on having BJP on their side.
There can’t be a better spot for a political party to be like the ruling party at the Centre in Andhra Pradesh. Without having a single representative in both the Parliament and the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in command of a special place in the state, where both major regional parties are looking out to have either a direct or indirect tie with the saffron party ahead of the 2024 general elections.
Though the BJP didn’t manage to win even a single constituency in the 2019 Lok Sabha as well as the state assembly elections, the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in Andhra Pradesh and the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) are keen on having the BJP on their side.
Both TDP, YSR Congress Party appears to be keen on having BJP on their side
During the last elections, the BJP went solo in the state after N Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP parted ways and separated from the BJP led NDA alliance in 2018. The TDP, which was then ruling in the state, had broken its ties with the BJP citing non-fulfillment of demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh.
However, in 2019, the party was pushed to the back foot after its loss in the assembly polls in 2019, and ever since then, the TDP has been making efforts to form a tie again with the former ally, said a source close to the TDP.
On the other hand, though Andhra Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party is not looking to get into direct ties with the BJP, but the party wants to maintain a good rapport with the ruling party at the Centre and has time and again proved it. If sources are to be believed, the YSRCP wants the BJP to once again go solo in the state.
Meanwhile, the BJP is silently mulling over options ahead of the general elections next year. Notably, in 2024, along with the Lok Sabha elections the Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections are also slated to take place.
Fate of BJP-TDP ties
According to the local leaders, though Chandrababu Naidu has had a patchy record of having relations with the BJP and its top leaders at various occasions, a group of the BJP leaders in Andhra Pradesh are of the thought that an alliance with the TDP may help Bharatiya Janata Party in winning a few seats in the state, like it did in 2014. The BJP had managed to win 4 assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh with the help of the TDP.
Moreover, the TDP has got in alliance with actor Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena Party, which has boosted the party’s hope against the YSR Congress. Naidu’s party too believes that ties with the BJP will give the party a margin against the ruling party in the state. The TDP has been accusing the YSRCP of using power by arresting Naidu to dismantle the opposition.
Fate of BJP-YSRCP ties
The ruling YSR Congress Party has a solid base among the state's minority votes of Muslims and Christians. This is the reason why the party’s leaders are of the view that an electoral alliance with the BJP will not suit their party.
But, the party has also maintained a good relation with the BJP by backing the Narendra Modi government at the Centre on several occasions in the Parliament. A YSR Congress leader said, “The BJP has had differences with its poll allies but never with us. Our leader (Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy) has maintained good ties with the BJP leadership and has backed them wholeheartedly without seeking any share in power," reported news agency PTI.
What’s there for BJP
The BJP on its part is maintaining a spot, where it doesn’t appear to be on any of the sides at present. While, CM Jagan Mohan Reddy has been seen together with the BJP’s top leadership including PM Modi on several occasions, Home Minister Amit Shah too reportedly had met Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh, following Naidu’s arrest.
The BJP has always received support from both the regional parties in Parliament. The support from the YSRCP’s 9 Members of Parliament (MPs) in Rajya Sabha has often helped the union government in sailing out the opposition's challenge, where the party does not have a majority.
Published December 24th, 2023 at 18:21 IST