Is BJP Preparing To Go With YCP In 2019 Elections?
Amravati: The statement of the senior BJP leader Muralidhara Rao that the BJP would go alone in Andhra Pradesh in 2019 elections is now seen as a clear indication of the party to sever ties with the ruling TDP in the State and align with the YSR Congress. The BJP is not comfortable with Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP and the alliance between the two parties was forced by the intervention of senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu before the 2014 elections. Even Chandrababu Naidu on the first day of his bus yatra that started from Guntur district had declared that he would not align with the BJP that had fielded infamous Gujarath communal violence accused, Narendra Modi, as the prime ministerial candidate. But, in no time he had changed his political strategy and aligned with the BJP, only after the YSR Congress closed its door. The BJP senior leaders including Amit Shah at the national level and others from Andhra Pradesh have advised the BJP to have poll tie-up with the YSR Congress. However, Jagan Mohan Reddy is said to have rejected it fearing damage to his Christian vote bank and losing the Muslim sympathisers.
Now, after three years in power and alliance, the BJP leaders are not comfortable with Chandrababu Naidu. The TDP and Chandrababu Naidu were preventing the spread of the BJP in the State, they allege. Some of the leaders from the State believe that the BJP’s chances of expansion are sealed as long as the party is aligned with the TDP and the party can grow only if it distanced from the TDP. This is clearly understood by the party high command which is looking at the possibility of distancing from the TDP and aligning with the YSR Congress.
Sources in Delhi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given 15 minutes interview to YSR Congress MP and strategist Vijay Sai Reddy in Delhi last week, while denying audience to Chandrababu Naidu during the recent NDA meeting. Shockingly, BJP chief Amit Shah too had denied interview for Chandrababu Naidu initially but had to accept it when Venkaiah Naidu himself took the AP CM to the BJP chief’s residence.
The meeting between Modi and Vijayasai Reddy is seen as a breakthrough for the 2019 alliance and new political combinations. While the minds of Modi and Shah are yet to be known outside, it is said that Jagan Mohan Reddy had given his nod for an alliance with the BJP for the next poll battle.
Meanwhile, it is said that some of the BJP leaders from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana States are lobbying for alliance with Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan. Though Pawan Kalyan is speaking against BJP on Special Category Status issue and is seen soft towards the TDP, these leaders are trying to convince the film hero-turned-politician to withdraw ties with the TDP, if he wanted to expand his party in the State. Perhaps this is the reason why Pawan Kalyan had openly tweeted appreciating the YSR Congress MPs for their role in fighting for the special category status in the Parliament. This small favourable twist towards YSR Congress is seen as a positive development for a new and greater political alignment for the 2019 elections.
The YSR Congress is already said to have made up its mind to share the seats with the two Left parties in the next elections, a thing that Jagan Mohan Reddy did not accept in the last elections. The CPI and the CPI-M too are moving close towards the YSR Congress taking advantage of the special category status demand. If the YCP ultimately chooses to keep away from the BJP, the national party will have to settle for an alliance e with Pavan Kalyan. Given these indications, the 2019 will see an isolated TDP and the Opposition coaxed into one or two combinations making the battle absorbing.