Indian Express

Andhra: Amid suspense, Venkaiah Naidu seeks quick decision on BJP-TDP electoral alliance

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Venkaiah Naidu said the party cadre should be prepared for any eventuality. (PTI) Venkaiah Naidu said the party cadre should be prepared for any eventuality. (PTI)

Amid continuing suspense on possible electoral alliance between BJP and TDP, senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday favoured a speedy decision on the matter so that campaign can start early.

Naidu, who said he is not involved in the issue of alliance in Andhra Pradesh, also said the party cadre should be prepared for any eventuality.

BJP leaders Arun Jaitely and Prakash Javadekar are looking into the issue of alliances in AP, he said.

“I have said we should be ready for anything. Either for contesting alone or for adjustments in case of alliance. That is my advice.

“Secondly, alliances should be rational with political parties speaking to each other. It is not like one giving seats and the other taking. They belong to the people. If it is to be respectable, it should be done as early as possible, preferably before Ugadi (Telugu new year on March 31). Then we can move ahead with renewed vigour in the new year,” he told reporters here.

Though BJP and TDP have been engaged in talks on firming up an alliance for polls in undivided AP, they are reportedly stuck on seat sharing.

Replying to a query, he said there have been suggestions to field BJP women leaders like Uma Bharti or Smriti Irani against Congress president Sonia Gandhi (in Rae Bareily) and that the party is discussing the matter.

Asked how Telugu hero Pavan Kalyan, who formed Janasena party, and other stars are going to help the party, he said they may campaign. “What is their programme,I cannot speak about it”.

Hitting out at Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, Naidu said it is strange that the former Delhi Chief Minister is seeking to question the opposition instead of that party which had been in power for 10 years.

Asked about Kejriwal’s comments on Modi’s “relations” with a business group, he said such questions can be answered in Parliament if the AAP leader gets elected.

“Should we respond to what everybody says. Opposition leaders can ask in Parliament. I fail to understand this. The ruling party, its defects, its failure to implement promises are questioned. It is strange that the Opposition and someone who has not served as Prime Minister are questioned here. That means they have also realised that he is going to come. What are these relations? You cannot hide your mistakes by lies,” he said.

“Kejriwal could not utilise the opportunity in Delhi. He was not able to provide governance. There is no recognition then. You (media) have sidelined him after giving headlines for two days. That is why he says I am posing this question to Modi. Anybody can ask from anywhere. Answer will be given in Parliament if he wins,” he said.

Replying to query, Naidu said he too favoured giving ticket to senior leader Jaswant Singh from Barmer, continued…

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