BJP-Chandrababu Naidu-Pawan Kalyan Alliance Finalised, Say Sources

BJP-Chandrababu Naidu-Pawan Kalyan Alliance Finalised, Say Sources

New Delhi:

The BJP has finalised seat-share deals with the Telugu Desam Party of ex-Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and actor Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena, sources told NDTV Friday evening. The alliance covers this year’s Lok Sabha election and the Assembly poll, with the national party likely to contest six to eight seats in the former and 10-12 in the latter.

The third party in the alliance – the Jana Sena, already a member of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance – will likely get three Lok Sabha and 24 Assembly seats, with the TDP getting the rest.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party dominated both elections five years ago, winning 22 of the state’s 25 Lok Sabha seats and 151 of its 175 Assembly segments.

The BJP – which contested both on its own – failed to win a single seat in either. An alliance with state parties is unlikely to generate a significantly different outcome for the saffron party, but will boost its overall score and help reach the ‘abki baar 400 paar‘ target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Congress were similarly routed, but the (now joint) rival has set the stage for a blockbuster battle by signing up the Chief Minister’s sister, YS Sharmila, and handing her control of its state unit.

An “in principle” confirmation of the alliance with the BJP was provided by senior TDP leader and Rajya Sabha MP K Ravindra Kumar, who told news agency PTI the parties will now work together.

The alliance follows two rounds of extensive talks between Mr Naidu and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, with BJP boss JP Nadda also involved; the second took place in Delhi earlier today.

The TDP was a crucial part of a BJP-led national alliance till 2018, when Mr Naidu – then the Chief Minister – walked out citing unfulfilled demands for special status. The withdrawal was seen as the result of a pressure tactic by Mr Reddy, who benefitted from the split and the subsequent friction.

BJP-TDP-Jana Sena Seat-Share

Sources earlier said the BJP wants to contest several prime parliamentary constituencies, including Vizag, Vijayawada, Araku, Rajampet, Rajahmundry, and Tirupati.

READ | 6 Years After Leaving, Chandrababu Naidu Set For NDA Return

The Jana Sena, sources added, could get Machilipatnam as one of its three Lok Sabha seats.

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