The latest statement by Bharatiya Janata Party national spokesman and Rajya Sabha member G V L Narasimha Rao that he would take up with his party high command if Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu agrees to merge his party with the BJP has generated an interesting talk in the media circles.
Does Naidu have no option but to merge with the BJP? Doesn’t he have the capacity to sustain the party till 2024 assembly elections? Is Naidu running out of energy to run the party and bring it back to power in 2024?
Well, the TDP leaders have not made any comments on GVL’s suggestion till now. Nor did they make any comment on the talk that Naidu is trying to cosy up with the BJP again.
In the debates in a couple of channels, TDP spokespersons remained non-committal on the statement made by Naidu in Visakhapatnam recently that he had done a mistake in entering into confrontation with the Modi government and that he had no personal rivalry with Modi.
All that they said was that there are no permanent foes and friends in politics and at the same time, Naidu had not made the statement publicly or in any press conference. But they did not make any statement that the TDP won’t get back into the BJP fold.
But analysts say it is too early to write the TDP off from Andhra politics and say that it has only option to sustain itself – merging with the BJP.
Compared to the BJP, the TDP still has a strong cadre base and that is why, even when some leaders have defected to the BJP and the YSRC, Naidu is unmoved.
Secondly, the TDP is also monetarily very strong, as Naidu has close links with many industrialists across the country and also because of the strong community backing the party has. Those who know the rise and fall of the TDP in the last 30 years say the party has the capacity to fight back.
Forging alliances or not depends on the situations that might arise before the elections. And having seen Naidu’s U-turns in the last couple of years, one might not rule out the TDP chief making overtures to the BJP again.
But it is highly unlikely that he would merge the TDP with the BJP, which has little presence in Andhra. If he really does it, it will be suicidal for the TDP as well as Naidu personally!