The Telugu Desam Party would play a key role after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, party president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said today. “All political parties came there (Bengaluru yesterday). We met all and spoke to them…after 2019, nobody would be able to do anything without Telugu Desam Party. Ours is a key role,” Naidu said. Naidu had attended the swearing-in ceremony of JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy as Chief Minister of Karnataka in Bengaluru yesterday, which was also attended by the leaders of almost all non-BJP parties. Naidu was addressing ‘Mahanadu’, the party’s annual conclave, organised by the TDP’s Telangana unit.
He recalled that he had said in 1996 that the TDP would play a key role at the Centre after elections. TDP did play an important role in forming the United Front then, he said. “I am saying today in Hyderabad, in Exhibition Grounds (venue for the conclave). We held many meetings here. You remember. TDP will have a key role in India after 2019,” Naidu said.
Responding to sloganeering by cadres, Naidu said he was not interested in the Prime Minister’s post. TDP would emerge strong in Telangana also, Naidu asserted. The party has weakened in Telangana since 2014 with many of its MPs joining the ruling TRS. It was TDP which laid the foundation for Hyderabad to emerge as a major centre for IT and other signficant areas, Naidu said.
BJP, which was a pre-poll ally of TDP for the 2014 elections, had not done justice to Andhra Pradesh and also Telangana during the last four years, Naidu alleged. In brief comments to reporters after the conclave, he said regional parties would gain in strength in the days to come. “Regional parties would gain strength and work for national interest. (We) will safeguard state’s interest,” Naidu said.