BJP all set to bear down on the south

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Highlights

Interesting political developments seem to be evolving, particularly regarding the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Interesting political developments seem to be evolving, particularly regarding the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The BJP which has embarked on 'Mission South' is exploring all possibilities to have a strong footprint in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In Telangana, it wants to come to power and retain power in Karnataka.

The saffron party which has gone all out against the TRS government appears to be in the process of taking TDP in Andhra Pradesh back into its fold. If speculations are to be believed, the stage in Delhi is set to admit TDP as NDA partner by the end of September, may be during the festival time or immediately after that.

Since 2019, the BJP has been losing NDA partners one after the other. TDP came out of the government, severed its ties with BJP and went hammer and tongs against Centre in general, and Modi in particular. A repeat story that we are now witnessing in Telangana. The only difference here is that TRS was never a partner of NDA but till recently always gave outside support to every decision of the NDA government and did not bat an eyelid to praise Modi to skies on the floor of the State Assembly. But now the relationship has soured.

The NDA lost its partner Shiv Sena in Maharashtra after last Assembly elections and had to wait for some time before it could split the party and come to power. The Akali Dal in Punjab, too, walked out from NDA. It is left only with a few small parties. On the other hand, the major regional parties in West Bengal, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and the Congress which has also become a sort of regional party, are all against the BJP but are unable to come on one platform.

So, the BJP which does not have more than 3% vote share in Andhra seems to have felt that having one strong regional party with about 40% vote share back in NDA would act as a tremendous force multiplier. Though alliance with BJP in assembly may not be of great significance to TDP in terms of votes, it can help boost the votes percentage of TDP in Parliament elections.

We have seen Centre's caring attitude towards TDP as it took a swift action on the request of TDP to enhance the security cover for TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu. When Naidu's security was downgraded in 2019, the Centre kept quiet saying it was for the State to assess and take necessary measures to provide the security cover to the leader of opposition.

The TDP too feels that TDP-BJP-Jana Sena combine would be politically advantageous for them. The vote of share of Jana Sena, particularly, in the twin Godavari districts, is estimated to be around 10%.

The BJP also seems to have felt that this kind of rekindling of friendship between the saffron and the yellow party would help to take on the pink party in Telangana. Though TDP leaders were poached and most of them migrated to TRS, they still have a vote share of about 10 to 12% in Telangana. The decision-makers in BJP, Modi and Amit Shah seem to have felt that it would be advantageous to tap this section if it wants to come to power in Telangana. The game of chess is becoming more and more interesting. Let's see who says 'Check.'

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