Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu at NTR Bhavan in Hyderabad.
Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu at NTR Bhavan in Hyderabad.Photo | Express

Chandrababu Naidu talks of TDP revival, sets off churn in Telangana politics

Both BRS and Congress hope to gain from TDP’s resurgence; analysts opine it may be detrimental to grand old party.

HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday left political analysts trying to figure out implications of his comments that the Telangana unit of the TDP will not only be reactivated, but revived to its past glory. Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister K Pawan Kalyan too had spoken about dabbling in Telangana politics, heating up the political climate in the State.

A day after his meeting with Telangana Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy, Naidu on Sunday announced plans to reactivate the TDP in the State, expressing confidence that it will regain its past prominence. This announcement, made at NTR.

Trust Bhavan, marked Naidu's first visit to Hyderabad and the party office after becoming the Chief Minister for the fourth time. Naturally, the statement created a stir, as the TDP has been largely inactive in Telangana for several years.

Recently, while visiting the Kondagattu temple, Jana Sena Party supremo Pawan Kalyan had said that the BJP and JSP would work as allies in Telangana.

The TDP, JSP and BJP alliance is already in power in Andhra Pradesh, having defeated the YSRC in the recent elections. Responding to Pawan Kalyan’s comment, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Bandi Sanjay said that the BJP high command would soon decide on the alliance's continuation in Telangana.

The success of these parties in Andhra Pradesh and the possibility of their alliance continuing in Telangana has naturally attracted much interest.

Historically, the TDP and BJP had an alliance in Telangana until the 2014 Assembly elections, having contested together in 1994, 1999 and 2004.

The current political dynamics bode well for a reunion of these parties in Telangana, with the JSP joining the alliance. This raises questions about the future of the main Opposition party in Telangana, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS).

A former minister from the BRS claimed that Naidu's entry into Telangana would benefit the pink party as public sentiment would favour it. He said that Telangana people would not accept Naidu, who opposed the State's formation and was perceived as unjust during his tenure as chief minister of the undivided AP.

The BRS leader also alleged that the recent meeting between the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh chief ministers was aimed to revive the TDP in Telangana. His comment assumes significance in light of the fact that Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy was a key TDP leader before the bifurcation of the State.

Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu at NTR Bhavan in Hyderabad.
Andhra, Telangana CMs meet to resolve bifurcation issues

Meanwhile, Congress leaders believe that any TDP revival would benefit their party by splitting votes between the alliance ruling Andhra Pradesh and the main Opposition party in Telangana, the BRS.

However, political analysts disagree, saying that the Congress could lose votes since it had captured the existing TDP and JSP vote share in the 2023 Assembly elections, as these parties did not contest.

The BRS secured 37% of vote share in the Assembly elections and 16% in the Lok Sabha polls. Analysts believe that the BJP could erode the BRS vote share and consequently impact the Congress.

The BJP got 35% of vote share in the Lok Sabha and 13.9% in the Assembly elections. Should it form an alliance with the TDP and JSP in Telangana, it could strengthen its position and possibly impact Congress chances.

TDP leaders have already hinted at contesting the next Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, expected in late 2025. The TDP and BJP have strongholds in various Hyderabad areas, and an alliance between these two parties could improve their chances in Telangana.

Analysts say that the performance of this alliance largely depends on whether Telangana sentiment remains as strong 10 years after the formation of the State, and if yes, will it benefit the BRS? The pink party is already struggling with defections and a drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections and faces an existential crisis.

The New Indian Express