New Delhi, Feb. 18: The BJP’s unequivocal endorsement of the Telangana bill in the Lok Sabha unsettled its prospective Andhra Pradesh ally, the Telugu Desam Party. The TDP had vacillated over its stand on a separate state several times before finally deciding that Telangana was unacceptable.
TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu, who was in Delhi for the last few days, told The Telegraph: “As the major Opposition party, it was the BJP’s duty to fight for both Telangana and Seemandhra. People expect justice for the two regions. I expected the BJP to have the same attitude.”
Naidu had tried hard to work on the BJP to put off backing the bill and very nearly succeeded in persuading veteran L.K. Advani that unless the Centre offered a compensatory package for coastal Andhra and Rayalseema, it was inexpedient to create Telangana.
But the rest in the BJP’s top echelon were not swayed.
While the official response, voiced by senior leader M. Venkaiah Naidu, was that the BJP was “not concerned about alliances and concerned only about keeping its word to the people”, sources said the party was sure the TDP would not sunder its revived links with the BJP. The TDP was part of the NDA government.
“It is a matter of 15 days or so until tempers cool down on both sides of the regional divide. Naidu’s elbow space is not so large that he can fight the elections alone and hope to make big gains,” a source said.