ONI Bureau: It was N Chandrababu Naidu who ended Narendra Modi’s untouchability in political support by extending support to NDA as the first major opposition party in 2013 at a time when even JD(U) broke ties with its long-time ally BJP opposing the Gujarat stalwart.
Naidu got things right, as he checkmated YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy and rode to power in Andhra Pradesh. But, despite his best efforts, he failed to achieve what he aimed for. YSR Congress under Jagan Mohan Reddy consolidated its position while Chandrababu Naidu is facing a series of tough questions from the people.
Naidu knows his party no longer holds the edge in Andhra Pradesh. So, he wanted the special category status to Andhra Pradesh to woo the voters. But, the BJP under Modi-Shah acted smart. They know if they give anything to Andhra Pradesh now, it would consolidate Naidu, but won’t be beneficial for BJP in the long run. They rather prefer to wait for the right time, which may come anytime before the polls.
The state unit of BJP sees Jagan Mohan as a potential ally for the future, as he promises to give them more space then what was offered by Naidu, who also has some national political ambitions. It won’t be a surprise if he wants to be projected as the PM candidate of the united Opposition to stall BJP as well as YSR Congress.
In 2014, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had won 105 seats in the 175-member assembly, while YSR Congress got 67. BJP had won just 4 seats. With Jagan gaining popularity every passing day and putting the TDP in the dock on various issues, Naidu had no option but to play the ‘victim card’ and quit NDA to save the face as well as bring a no confidence motion to stay ahead of YSR Congress.