AP CM to turn roller coaster ride with BJP to his advantage

AP CM to turn roller coaster ride with BJP to his advantage
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On a roller-coaster ride with the alliance partner, AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, known as a shrewd leader in his close-to-four-decade-long political career, is poised to turn the tide in his favour during the visit of BJP national president Amit Shah.

Vijayawada: On a roller-coaster ride with the alliance partner, AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, known as a shrewd leader in his close-to-four-decade-long political career, is poised to turn the tide in his favour during the visit of BJP national president Amit Shah.

When Shah is scheduled to visit the capital with a different mission, Naidu goes into a fire-fighting mode to douse the flames of discomfort in the alliance camp by inviting the BJP chief for a lunch-on-meeting at his Undavalli residence on Thursday.

In fact, Amit Shah is on a visit in the two Telugu states following his party’s focus on South in the wake of its major gains in the Assembly elections in five northern states. The leadership is determined to strengthen the party base right from the polling booth level by letting Shah interact around 25,000 workers at the grassroots level in the city on Thursday.

As a clever move, Naidu, who was currently in Hyderabad, attending the Telangana party’s Maha Nadu, will arrive to Vijayawada with Shah in the same flight for the launch-on meeting. The interface, commencing at 1-15pm and lasts for 45 minutes to an hour, may hopefully for Naidu send a right signal across the BJP-TDP ranks.

The CM seemingly made it a point to ensure the presence of his trusted friend within the BJP at the launch-on meeting. Besides, union railway minister Suresh Prabhu, who was re-elected to Rajya Sabha from the AP with largesse from the TDP, is also scheduled to join the lunch-on programme.

Naidu intends to let the Shah’s visit come handy for him at a time when the storm, brewing in the ruling combine, is unlikely to end up like the proverbial storm in a tea cup. The anti-TDP ginger group in the BJP, represented by vocal leaders like former union minister Purandhareswari, Somu Veerraju and Congress turncoats like Kanna Lakshminarayana, have been at their best to make way for their party’s divorce from the TDP’s wedlock as early as possible as part of settling their old feuds with Chandrababu.

The CM’s likeminded souls like Venkaiah, as a counter move, are sparing no effort to live the BJP-TDP alliance a long life. Some vocal sections in the BJP are understood to be training guns against the TDP ahead of elections as a ploy to increase their party’s bargaining power over seat-sharing.

As the election time is nearing, discordant notes even among the TDP’s MLAs and MPs also become much louder due to the scare over displacement if the TDP-BJP relationship is cemented further. It became evident in the statement of TDP Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas (Nani) that the number of votes he polled in 2014 elections fell because of the alliance with the BJP. Naidu may have to gift away a good number of seats where the election prospects of his party’s sitting MLAs and MPs are dim to his alliance partner.

The three-year BJP-TDP honey-mooning, marked by power sharing at state and Centre as well, hit a roadblock in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi having allowed Naidu’s bête noir YS Jaganmohan Reddy of the YSRC for a one-to-one meeting.

In spite of the friendly fights, the BJP and the TDP top brass seemingly come to grips with the ground suggesting that the alliance is somewhat a marriage of convenience and compulsions for both the partners that keep them going together till 2014 polls at least, commented an analyst T Lakshminarayana.

Meanwhile, Amit Shah has been witnessing contrasting situations in the two Telugu states during his visit. When Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao targeted the BJP top leader in hard-hitting verbose, his counterpart in Andhra extended the BJP leader an olive branch.

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