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N Chandrababu Naidu’s plan put on hold after UP poll results

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has been trying to attract Muslim voters so that he can flaunt the TD’s secular credentials. It was evident in 2014 that Muslims voted in large numbers for the YSRC, mainly because of the TD’s alliance with the BJP.  Mr Naidu will have to rethink his support for actor Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena. With the win in Uttar Pradesh, BJP leaders in AP, who are mainly defectors from the Congress, will be more aggressive with their alliance partner TD, seeking more posts and a greater say in the administration.

Mr Naidu has been soft-pedalling several controversial issues like denial of Special Category Status to AP and not bringing in legislation to provide backing to the Special Package announced in August 2016. TD leaders have been for some time been advocating dumping the BJP after the UP polls, thinking that the party would not win, and supporting Pawan Kalyan ins-tead. Events have overtaken these leaders.

With the gains made by the BJP, Mr Naidu will have to continue his soft peddling of Mr Modi before striking a deal with Pawan Kalyan. “We are quite happy with our alliance partner. The BJP had big gains in the north and it will be good for our alliance. The BJP may tend to grow organisationally in AP, that is okay with us,” said TD politburo member Somireddy Chandra-mohan Reddy.

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