Amaravati: In politics, there are no permanent friends or foes, goes the popular adage, which is currently at its best display in Maharashtra. And in Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam Party chief and former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu appears to be guided by it.
Naidu recently thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah over the issuing of a revised map of India incorporating Amaravathi as the capital of Andhra Pradesh, sparking speculations that he is trying to cosy up to the BJP.
On November 2, the Survey of India released the Indian Map in which Amaravathi was missing. This led to a political slugfest between the ruling YSRCP and Opposition TDP with each blaming the other for the mess.
The TDP accused Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy of "killing" Amaravathi for the sake of shifting the capital to some other location and this had prompted the Centre to ignore it from the Indian map. YSRCP retorted saying the TDP had failed to bring out a gazette notifying Amaravathi as the capital when it was in power for five years since 2014.
After TDP MPs raised the issue in Parliament, the Centre issued a revised map, bringing back Amaravathi. However, the speed at which Modi and Shah responded to the TDP's demand has set rumour mills abuzz that the BJP too wants to restore ties with TDP.
Just about six months ago, Naidu had trained gun on Modi and Shah during the party’s poll campaign for general elections in May 2019. Naidu even toured across the nation to forge a non-BJP front of all national and regional parties to dethrone NDA government at the Centre.
However, Naidu’s TDP faced a humiliating defeat at the hands of TRS in Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
Naidu, who rode to power in 2014 in alliance with BJP, severed ties with BJP in March 2018 over special category status demand for AP. From then, Naidu was on a mission to oust BJP from power in 2019 general elections.
Six months later, things seem to be taking a different shape. But then Naidu is known to join hands with anyone for political gains.
Who would imagine even in their wildest dreams that TDP, which was formed by late popular actor NT Rama Rao on the sole plank of anti-Congress, will one day join hands with the same Congress.
Naidu did this during December 2018 Telangana Assembly polls by joining hands with the Congress to form the People’s Front to take on the ruling TRS, which too ended up as a big disaster.
However, after six months of crushing defeat in the general elections 2019, Naidu has again started sending feelers to the BJP leadership over restoring his ties with the saffron party.
In the party’s review meeting last month, Naidu openly regretted snapping ties with the BJP, giving enough hints that he wants to mend fences with the BJP again and take on ruling YSRCP in the next Assembly polls in alliance with BJP and Jana Sena. The TDP-BJP-Jana Sena formula had helped Naidu defeat YSRCP in 2014 and come to power in AP.
The latest episode of TDP's demands over Amaravathi and the instant redressal by the BJP indicates that the political landscape in Andhra is set to witness a change in the coming days.