TDP, BJP hold on to alliance, shuffle seats
Although their alliance lay in tatters, the TDP and BJP seemed 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 appeared settled only because filing of nominations was closed due to the Good Friday holiday. Saturday is the last day for filing nominations and TDP leaders in assembly constituencies allotted to the 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 on or not.
“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,’’ Javadekar said.
TDP Rajya Sabha member Y S Chowdary, who was also at the meeting, appealed to TDP candidates who filed nominations in seats allotted to the BJP to withdraw to save the alliance.
Earlier on Friday, TDP leaders had prepared a list of TDP probable candidates for 14 assembly constituencies and four LS seats allotted to the BJP, in case they pulled out of the alliance.
In fact, the TDP delayed releasing its final list of assembly candidates Friday, watching the mood in the BJP camp. As talks progressed, the TDP released a list of 23 candidates, leaving 13 assembly seats to the BJP.
Meanwhile, the BJP’s Seemandhra unit president said the party would contest only 13 assembly and four Lok Sabha seats. The BJP was initially 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 out.