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Divorce between TDP-BJP inevitable: Both blame each other for the rift
In a dramatic development, on Wednesday night, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo N Chandrababu Naidu declared that his party's Union ministers will be resigning from Central government as a first step towards warning the Modi government for not fulfilling the promise of providing special category status to Seemandhra.

He also specifically said that for the time being, the TDP will remain in NDA's camp. However, if the BJP government fails to fulfill their demands then the TDP is likely to pull out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). This declaration came hours after Arun Jaitley informed through a press conference that special category status can't be given to any other state post the 14th financial commission report.

Here it must be noted that the pre-poll promise of providing special category status was given to many states. Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, UP and Chhattisgarh have been demanding special category status for some time. However, the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act has a provision to provide Seemandhra special category status. And this had been agreed between the BJP and the TDP during formation of an alliance between the two.

However, after the 14th financial commission report being accepted by the Parliament, it became difficult to provide special category status. The BJP has a valid point in saying that they have provided special economic package in lieu of special category status. But the TDP claims that this is betrayal by the BJP government to the people of Seemandhra.

However, this divorce between the BJP and TDP is not a sudden decision. Since past few months, trouble had been simmering between the two with the TDP threatening to part ways with the NDA. When the TDP ministers in the Central government expressed willingness to resign, the BJP ministers of Seemandhra also submitted their resignations making it clear that there's no room for further negotiations. I would say that both the BJP and TDP have worked out their mathematics for the 2019 general election.

With the Congress getting a little less than 9 per cent of vote share in Seemandhra, it is no more a direct rival to the TDP. TDP's main rival is YSRCP which had got 44.47 per cent of votes in 2014, a bit more than the TDP which finished with around 44 per cent of votes. However, an alliance with the BJP boosted TDP's chances and it got 35 more seats excluding BJP's 4 seats (TDP-102, YSRCP-67).

N Chandrababu Naidu might be estimating that due to anti-incumbency, his party may lose around 2 per cent of vote share. Thus, if his party, the TDP forms an alliance with the Congress, the Congress' 9 per cent vote share would take the total vote share to 51 per cent which is enough for majority. Probably that's why the TDP is ready to walk out of the alliance. The vote share of the Congress in Seemandhra is not expected to drop, owing to the popularity that the party enjoyed during the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

Now let's try and understand BJP's mathematics. The BJP is calculating that the YSRCP might increase its vote share by around 2 per cent, thus ending up with a total tally of 46 per cent. If the BJP can increase its vote share by up to 2 per cent, taking its total vote share to 5 per cent, then YSRCP plus BJP would end up with 51 per cent of vote share.

Only time will tell whose mathematics is proven right, however, for the time being, divorce between the TDP and BJP is inevitable.

(The vote share percentage is of undivided Andhra Pradesh. Source:"Why Congress and YSRCP lost in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh" published in Live Mint on 20th May 2014.)

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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