Although their alliance lay in tatters, TDP and BJP decided to keep it intact more out of compulsion than convenience, after a marathon meeting between TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar Friday.
The matter appears settled only due to Friday being a holiday on account of Good Friday, filing of nominations is closed today. Saturday is the last day for filing of nominations and TDP leaders in Assembly constituencies allotted to BJP are expected to rebel and file their nominations as independents.
Both Javadekar and Seemandhra BJP president K Haribabu gave cryptic replies when asked what adjustments were made and whether the alliance was still in place.
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“There were a few problems. We have sorted them. The alliance continues to remain strong and we are united. We are hoping that TDP candidates who filed nominations in seats allotted to BJP will withdraw,” said Prakash Javadekar.
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Rajya Sabha member Y S Chowdary who was also in the meeting, appealed to TDP candidates who filed nominations in seats allotted to BJP to withdraw their nominations so that alliance remains intact.
On Friday morning, TDP leaders had prepared a list of TDP probable candidates for 14 Assembly constituencies and four LS seats that were allotted to BJP, in case they pull out of the alliance. In fact, the TDP delayed releasing its final list of Assembly candidates, watching the mood in BJP camp. As talks between both parties progressed, the TDP released a list of 23 candidates leaving 13 Assembly seats to BJP.
Meanwhile, the BJP’s Seemandhra unit president said that BJP would contest only 13 Assembly and four Lok Sabha seats. When the alliance was sealed, the BJP was first given 15 Assembly and five Lok Sabha seats which came down to 14 Assembly and 4 LS seats by the time seat-sharing was worked.
The BJP said Itchapuram constituency in Srikakulam district was given back to TDP, leaving 13 seats to BJP. TDP has promised to allot one Member of Legislative Council (MLC) seat to BJP in lieu of Itchapuram seat, Javadekar said.
“In the rest of seats alloted to BJP, the candidates we nominated will contest,” he said.
When asked about TDP’s demand to change the nominated BJP candidates Haribabu said “both parties have decided on some adjustments, nominations would be filed accordingly.”