Hyderabad: The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Telangana will bring its national president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to campaign for it for the Assembly elections to be held on 7 December.
Chandrababu Naidu to campaign for TDP in Telangana
The development will be interesting to watch, especially given that Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were bifurcated on bitter terms, both economically and politically.
Political analysts will be closely observing whether an Andhra leader will have a stake in the neighbouring state.
With Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief and caretaker chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR, as he is known) having made anti-Naidu and anti-Andhra statements in recent campaign rallies, Naidu’s face in the campaign is expected to help the TDP win seats in the “Andhra settler” region in the Greater Hyderabad area, which has 24 constituencies.
The constituencies in the region have a sizeable population of people who have migrated from Andhra Pradesh. “Our aim is to defeat the TRS in the state. While we can’t say exactly how many seats the party will win, Naidu’s campaign will have some impact,” said a TDP leader who did not want to be named.
Senior TDP leader and former minister in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh E. Peddi Reddy said the dates of Naidu’s campaign will be decided in the coming days, once the seat-sharing is announced by the grand alliance.
“He is our national president, so he will definitely campaign. Everything is going smoothly and the first list of candidates will be announced in two days,” Reddy said.
In the forthcoming Assembly elections, the Congress, TDP, Communist Party of India (CPI) and Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) have formed a grand alliance to take on the TRS. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had a pre-poll alliance with the TDP in the 2014 Assembly elections, will contest alone.
The TDP won 15 seats and the BJP 5 of the 110 Assembly seats in 2014, while the TRS won 63, the Congress 21, and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen seven.
TRS leaders, who did not want to be quoted, said Naidu’s presence won’t have any effect. They pointed out that KCR’s campaign rhetoric will only help evoke pro-Telangana and anti-Naidu sentiments, which will help the TRS consolidate votes across the state.
Political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy said Naidu’s presense in the TDP’s campaign in Telangana will bear some fruit, especially among natives of Andhra Pradesh.
“In 2014 itself it was evident that Naidu won’t become the chief minister here, but his party still managed to win 15 seats,” the analyst said.