BJP has had its shares of ups and downs with allies in the NDA. The Shiv Sena in particular was insecure to a larger extent about the dominance of BJP in Maharashtra. Finally, it severed its ties and has declared to go alone for 2019. With the oldest NDA ally formally calling quits, Chandrababu Naidu led TDP too displayed a bit of the same discomfort. TDP was disappointed with the union budget where it believes the needs of Andhra Pradesh were not addressed.
After the budget session ended, Naidu expressed reservations and had called an emergency meeting to discuss the same. TDP was firm in its demands for allocation from budget to various developmental projects in the state. It also further reiterated that the future of TDP’s alliance with the BJP was discussed and warned that the party had three options. Firstly, they can either try and continue the alliance. Secondly, they would make their MPs resign and mount pressure. Thirdly, they could just leave the NDA and go alone like the Sena in 2019.
Although, the TDP has clearly expressed its displeasure, the situation will not result in severing of ties between the two allies for now.
Chandrababu Naidu followed the previously held meetings with a Parliamentary Board meeting today where the question of TDP’s alliance with the BJP was discussed in detail. The ‘raw deal’ meted out to Andhra in the Union Budget was discussed at length in the TDP Parliamentary Board meeting too.
As per Times Now, BJP President Amit Shah called up Naidu while the meeting was underway and asked him not to make any hasty decisions.
After the meeting this was what Andhra Minister YS Chowdary had to say – “During the meeting, the Union Budget was discussed and the fact that no allocations were given to Andhra Pradesh was also discussed. We will continue pressurising the Centre for it. We will also raise the matter in the Parliament if it is needed,” stated, addressing the media after TDP Parliamentary Board meeting.
Chowdary also categorially denied that Naidu was in touch with Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray
In his words “CM N Chandrababu Naidu did not speak to Shiv Sena. There has been no communication between Amit Shah and the CM either,”
Source: Times Now
So, it is clear that Amit Shah’s phone call worked!
It is clear that TDP has been resorting to pressure tactics to derive their pound of flesh and the BJP has to intelligently play its cards in this situation. For the BJP which made a clean sweep in the north in 2014, it knows it heavily depends on allies to gain foothold in the south. BJP has specifically made good inroads in Andhra and Karnataka. In Karnataka, they are on their own but in AP they need the association with TDP to continue. The charisma of Naidu is intact, and the BJP cannot ignore the hugely popular CM.
TDP may have resorted to pressure tactics but breaking alliance at this point of time is not affordable for them too. After the bifurcation of the state, the industrial belt went away with Telangana and so it needs assistance from the centre for the development of Andhra. Many issues such as Polavaram project, funding for the new state capital, making Vishakapatnam a regional railways headquarters and sanctioning the Kadappa steel project will require assistance from the centre. In addition to that PM Modi is popular and the TDP would want to cash in on the same too.
TDP has shown tremendous maturity unlike Shiv Sena which was a nightmarish ally. BJP and TDP nicely complement each other and it is one of the most natural alliances in the country. Both allies need to meet and discuss and strengthen their ties rather than washing their dirty linen in public.