With an ambition to become a king maker once again in the NDA the TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu conceded a total of 62 assembly (out of 294 ) and 13 (out of 42) parliament seats, to the BJP after a prolonged bout of negotiations that left both party cadres bitter.
Many TDP leaders feel that Naidu conceded many more seats to the BJP than he should have. BJP bargained for over a week, before Naidu cowed down. It was a visibly peeved Naidu who sat amidst two BJP emissaries and announced the deal after he refused to visit Delhi and participate in the grand announcement of poll alliance.
BJP will contest 8 parliament seats in Telangana as against 5 in Seemandehra and similarly it will contest 47 assembly and 15 assembly seats in both the regions. Telengana and Andhra will election state governments simultaneously. For the BJP every seat is going to count as it tries desperately to tot up the numbers to cross 200 seats if it has to have a reasonably good chance of making the numbers with allies.
What ever be the chemistry and logic that flowed during last two weeks of turbulent negotiations the TDP has conceded 1/5 of the assembly seats and 1/4 of Parliament seats clearly indicating the precarious status of the regional party post Telangana bifurcation. "The party cadres are disturbed over the turn of events and we appear to have over estimated the BJP strength," said a senior Telangana TDP leader Erraballi Dayakar Rao who is fuming and fretting over the poll deal.
"The TDP will be a part of the NDA now... Chandrababu Naidu will be the co-architect with Narendra Modi in creating a corruption and Congress-free India," said Naresh Gujral of the Akali Dal, another partner of the BJP in the National Democratic Alliance or NDA.
Chandrababu Naidu said the political history and economic strides created by Modi in Gujarat will be replicated all over the country soon. "Personal sacrifices are essential in the task of national growths,"he said predicting a 300+ Lok Sabha seats for the NDA.
Preparing cadre for any eventuality, Chandrababu Naidu urged them to prepare for sacrifices as the nation needs NDA at the helm of affairs. "This is best for both the states to have a spokesman and party at centre on their side to fulfill the promises made to people post-bifurcation," said Naidu.
In the process both the BJP and Telugu Desam Party have ignored protests by local leaders of both parties. While BJP local leaders wanted to go alone and no truck with the BJP and also threatened to resign, many TDP leaders and cadres rushed to Chandrababu Naidu home in Jubilee hills pleaded for not giving choice assembly and parliament seats to the BJP. But the partnership could propel the BJP closer to the 272 seats it needs to form the next national government.
The Telangana and AP BJP state unit president's were conspicuous by their absence at the crucial event of seat sharing announcement between the BJP and TDP at TDP chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu residence here on Sunday. The briefing was attended by BJP Central leader Prakash Javadekar and Akali Dal leader Naresh Gujral an NDA partner.
The agreement which was reached after excruciatingly long bouts of talks will entail 62 Assembly and 13 Loksabha seats to BJP in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. But the opposition by BJP units of both Telangana and Seemandhra may throw spanner into the alliance efforts aimed to reduce split of votes in a already fractured electorate.
The opposition from T-Unit of BJP was such that that its president Kishan Reddy refused to attend the joint press conference and preferred to stay put at the state office. "I stayed back to pacify and convince the disappointed cadre," Kishan Reddy said later. The Seemandhra BJP head Kambhampati Haribabu also was missed.
Ironically both the parties avoided declaration of candidates to gain time and allow the anger among the cadres to simmer and recede. Protest rallies and meetings were also held at the hotel where BJP troubleshooter Prakash Jawadekar was staying. "Alliance is a ball game of give and take. We should be ready for both," said Jawadekar to T party men in an effort to cool them off .
BJP district leaders are unhappy that their strength is being shown in poor light and TDP leaders are responsible for bad press against BJP leaders. Telangana BJP leaders have alleged that TDP utilized the talks over alliance as a bulwark against TDP leaders deserting the party to join TRS.
Naidu is expected to be spurned by Telangana voters for not championing their cause. For the same reason, he is likely to be rewarded in the regions of Seemandhra that will form the down-sized Andhra Pradesh, though both Congress and the YSRC painted him as a charlatan who buttered his bread both ways.
They claimed that BJP deserves three Assembly seats and one MP seat from each of 13 districts of Seemandhra. The five MP seats TDP offered to BJP in Seemandhra are – Visakhapatnam, Araku, Narasapuram,Tirupati and Rajampeta. The assembly and parliament seats of Telangana are yet to be declared. Congress leader Hanumantha Rao says that poll alliance with BJP was either Harakiri for Chandrababu Naidu or jackpot. "With what we fear from Seemandhra, Naidu is carrying the cross now," he said .
Recent surveys have spelled doom for TDP in Telangana and bumper harvest in Seemandhra . "Our effort is to focus and concentrate in one area rather than spend our energy and resources in both Telangana and Seemandhra," says a senior TDP leader CM Ramesh.