The stalemate over the electoral alliance between TDP and BJP ended this evening with the latter agreeing to part with the Ichchapuram Assembly seat and settle for 13 seats in all, across Andhra Pradesh.
BJP national spokesman Prakash Javadekar, AP unit president Kambhampati Haribabu, TDP MP Y Satyanarayana Chowdary and former MP Kambhampati Ramamohan Rao held talks at senior leader M Venkaiah Naidu's residence here this evening to resolve the crisis that threatened to wreck the alliance.
The BJP was initially given 14 Assembly and four Lok Sabha seats in the 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh as part of the alliance. The TDP raised an alarm yesterday saying the BJP fielded very "weak" candidates at some places that could eventually benefit the rivals and damage the alliance's prospects.
TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu, during his election meetings in Vizianagaram district yesterday, made public his displeasure over the BJP's selection of candidates. "We have aligned with the BJP to see that Narendra Modi becomes the Prime Minister and rid the country of the corrupt and inept Congress rule. The alliance was also in the interests of our state. But somehow the BJP has fielded very weak candidates in some places which will only benefit the rival parties. It's scaring us," Chandrababu apprehended.
He rushed back to Hyderabad from Visakhapatnam late last night while Javadekar too reached Hyderabad to sort out the differences. Javadekar first held talks with Chowdary after which he conferred with Chandrababu for over two hours. Coming out of the meeting with Chandrababu, Javadekar asserted that the "alliance will continue" and proceeded to Venkaiah Naidu's residence for further talks, even as Chandrababu left for Krishna district for campaigning. Though the TDP wanted the BJP to part with 7 out of the 14 Assembly seats, the latter reportedly agreed to give away only the Ichchapuram seat.
"Objections are natural in any alliance. But we discussed them in a cordial atmosphere and everything now stands resolved," the BJP state chief Haribabu said. The TDP-BJP combine was sure to clinch power in both the states (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana), he said.
Nomination process for the May 7 election in Andhra Pradesh will end tomorrow. While the BJP has already announced its candidates for the seats it will be contesting, TDP is yet to name its nominees for 10-15 seats even as it released a fifth list with 23 candidates this morning