The first fissures are appearing in the bitter-sweet relationship between the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over seats and candidates in Telangana.
Late on Friday night, the TDP was set to release its first list of 60 candidates but called off the announcement at the eleventh hour, apparently after talking to BJP leaders in Delhi; this list was made without consulting the BJP. "Naidu got calls from Arun Jaitley to not disrupt the pace of alliance talks with his announcement," said Naidu's aide YS Chowdhary.
The state BJP denied this. "How can Naidu always talk to national leaders and get whatever he wants and always sideline the state leadership?" asked BJP's state spokesman N Ramachandra Rao.
BJP resignations flew en masse on Saturday in protest. Ten Telangana district BJP presidents in resigned to protest the alliance with TDP. BJP state president G Kishan Reddy said that he would not contest the assembly polls as the TDP cadre from Amberpet segment (Kishan's seat for the last two terms) were protesting the seat being given to the BJP as part of the alliance.
The BJP cadre in Telangana is opposed to an alliance with the TDP, but BJP's national leaders want Chandrababu Naidu on board for a better national representation from the south in the wake of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa choosing to not join the NDA, according to local reports. They offer another reason to support their demand against the TDP alliance: "Naidu has been belittling Narendra Modi at every meeting. Naidu says that Modi became CM in 2002 while he himself has been a CM since 1995," say local BJP cadre.
BJP state leaders claim that the party was on the anvil of achieving a major breakthrough in Andhra Pradesh and improve its strength from three to at least 30 seats. Though the Telangana BJP has been seeking 45 Assembly and eight Parliamentary seats, the hitch is over the Assembly seats only. "We are ready to give 32 Assembly and eight Parliamentary seats, and nothing more," said TDP Hyderabad president Srinivas Yadav.