The BJP ally turned foe, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh-Chandrababu Naidu- has been one of the most frantic lobbyists for the Mahagathbandhan against the saffron party after he left the NDA. Over the last few months, he has been conducting the meeting with the regional parties and projecting as the one who is leaving no stone unturned to bring an anti-BJP alliance together. The Congress was mute spectator throughout all this development, but Telangana assembly elections results were nothing less than a bolt from the blue for Naidu.
The joint opposition alliance Prajakutami – comprising the Telugu Desam Party, the Congress, the Telangana Jana Samithi, and the CPI suffered an abject failure in the state assembly elections. The failure of Prajakutami experiment has given a huge setback to Naidu’s political ambitions. He is done and dusted in Telangana. The TDP failed to retain the seats that they had won in the 2014 state assembly elections. It managed to win just two seats out of the 14 assembly constituencies in which the TDP contested. In 2014, the TDP had emerged victorious on 15 seats but slowly and steadily 12 of their MLAs along with their followers switched side and joined the rival TRS.
In 2018 Telangana state assembly elections, the TDP brought many new faces in order to put some life into his politically dead party in the state but Naidu’s move didn’t pay off, and his party suffered a humiliating defeat. It shows that his party is a dead horse in Telangana, and is also increasingly becoming politically irrelevant in the entire region. The TDP and Chandrababu Naidu had opposed the creation of a separate Telangana in 2014, and they paid its price in the recently concluded Telangana state assembly elections.
KCR aggressively campaigned across the state; he labeled Naidu as an ‘outsider’ and someone who would rule Telangana from Andhra Pradesh. During his election campaign, he fiercely attacked both the Congress and the TDP. With last his gamble of conducting early elections, Telangana secured a landslide victory over Prajakutami. The TRS led by KCR emerged victorious on 88 seats, the Congress won 19 seats, and the TDP managed to win only two seats.
The TDP’s shellacking in the Telangana would have reverberations in Andhra Pradesh also. The Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy in AP must be very happy with the humiliating defeat of his arch-rival- Chandrababu Naidu- in Telangana. A victory for Prajakutami would have made the task of YSRCP difficult. His followers were already very confident that YSRCP will triumph over TDP, and with the recent development their confidence would have skyrocketed. Andhra Pradesh would go to polls in April/May 2019.
The TDP was formed by NT Rama Rao to make Andhra Pradesh free of Congress. Now, after 36 years the state politics has taken such a turn with TDP becoming an ally of the Congress. It would be interesting to see how people of Andhra Pradesh would react to Naidu’s political opportunism. With his move to join hands with Congress, Chandrababu Naidu has undermined every tenet of the party which his father-in-law had founded.