TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu will hold a luncheon meeting with BJP national president Amit Shah during his visit to Andhra Pradesh, which assumes signficance considering the irritants in ties between the two parties. Shah will be on a day-long visit to Vijayawada to address the party’s polling booth-level workers tomorrow, as part of his nationwide outreach exercise. The meeting comes in the wake of the BJP’s Telangana unit severing its ties with the TDP and the bad blood between second-rung leaders of the two parties in Andhra Pradesh, despite being partners at the Centre.
According to political observers, the alliance may not matter for the TDP in Telangana, where the party’s stakes are not high, but it cannot survive without BJP’s support in AP. So, Chandrababu is keen to keep the BJP in good humour, though his subordinates in the party have tended to to trade charges with the BJP functionaries in the state. The two sides have sparred over a host of issues, particularly on the demand for the special category status to the state and extension of financial aid from the Centre. Chandrababu and Shah will fly here together from Hyderabad.
The fresh round of acrimony between the TDP and the BJP was triggered after Prime Minister Narendra Modi granted an audience to YSR Congress president and state opposition leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy early this month.
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The TDP leaders, including Chandrababu, have taken exception to the appointment granted to Jagan.
Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu took potshots at the TDP leaders saying only those without “minimum elementary political knowledge” were making an issue out of the PM’s meeting with a state’s leader of opposition. This apart, the BJP veteran also hinted that the BJP would “review” its alliance with the TDP ahead of the 2019 polls.
The second-rung leaders of these parties have been indulging in a slanging match for the last few days. But, Chandrababu was said to be livid over his party men’s open criticism of the BJP. During his daily teleconferences with the TDP leaders in the last two days, Chandrababu had issued a warning to his juniors against badmouthing the BJP.