Free Press Journal

TDP-BJP divorce official: How it will affect the political scenario in southern states


New Delhi: **FILE** In this file photo Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seen with TDP President and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in New Delhi on Friday, Jan 12, 2018. Two Telugu Desam Party (TDP ) ministers on Thursday resigned from the Central government over the party's demand of special category status to the state of Andhra Pradesh. PTI Photo (PTI3_8_2018_000204B)

After days of speculation, TDP finally decided to end its alliance with the BJP over Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh. The party will also move a no-confidence motion against the Modi government over the injustice meted out to the state, an official communique said. In the wake of the latest development, Andhra Pradesh is going to undergo some serious churning as TDP has decided to give BJP a run for its own money. And, BJP President Amit Shah’s dream to breach the southern states is seen to be fading away as their only ally in South has given them a cold shoulder and decided to move on.

Why exactly did TDP break-up with BJP?

The Telugu Desam Party, the BJP’s only ally in the south, is disappointed with how little was allotted to the state in the Union Budget. The ties between TDP and BJP soured after the Central government rejected its demand to Andhra Pradesh a special category status after its bifurcation in 2014. The alliance between TDP and BJP was questioned since TDP had supported the Opposition in Rajya Sabha during the discussions of the much-talked Triple Talaq Bill in the winter session of Parliament.

The TDP-BJP alliance

In 1998, the BJP first found an ally in TDP. Then chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu had lent outside support to Atal Bhihari Vajpayee government, and a year later they forged a pre-poll alliance and swept the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections.

After TDP left NDA, the BJP found it difficult to sustain its winning momentum as the party could win only two seats in the 2009 Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh and none in the Lok Sabha elections, which were held concurrently. But TDP returned to NDA after a decade — the party left the alliance after the 2004 loss, blaming the BJP for the Gujarat riots.

What happens after the alliance breaks?

While BJP is on a winning spree in the country with government already formed in 20 states, the Amit Shah-led BJP has no other alliance in southern states. BJP may think it is simple to carry on the winning spree in Andhra Pradesh as well, but it all comes down to numbers in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

While BJP can let go of TDP in Lok Sabha, as it has a clear majority in the Lower House, but it will suffer in Rajya Sabha. BJP can’t afford to break alliance with TDP as the numbers in Rajya Sabha of BJP-led NDA will dip down.

The Rajya Sabha plays the crucial during passages, which is also dominated by Congress for many years now. BJP is doing everything it can to get some numbers in the Upper House, so break-up with TDP means falling short of numbers in Rajya Sabha. While the BJP has majority in the lower house, but now after the break-up of alliance which will affect it in 23 March elections for Rajya Sabha, it will still fall short of the majority mark of 123 seats.

But, with BJP’s high hopes, the NDA is expecting to win a majority in Rajya Sabha by 2020. With the exit of TDP though, things will become further difficult for BJP to gain numbers in the Rajya Sabha.