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After 6 Years, Chandrababu Naidu’s Party Set For NDA Return

On Thursday, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu met with Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda, reigniting speculation about a possible coalition between the two parties for the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh. This is the second meeting between Mr Naidu and Mr Shah in as many months.

Another round of talks between TDP and BJP will take place in Delhi today while an official announcement regarding the alliance is anticipated within the next day or two.

The TDP was a crucial part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) until 2018, when Mr Naidu, then the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, decided to exit over concerns regarding financial support for the state. Now, as elections loom on the horizon, both parties appear open to the idea of joining forces, provided they can reach a mutually agreeable seat-sharing arrangement.

According to sources, the key focus of the discussions revolved around the potential alliance and the intricacies of seat distribution. While both parties express a willingness to collaborate, the final decision hinges on resolving differences over the number of seats each party would contest.

Andhra Pradesh boasts 25 Lok Sabha and 175 Assembly seats, and the BJP is reportedly keen on contesting eight to ten parliamentary constituencies. However, the BJP might settle for five to six Lok Sabha seats if an alliance materialises, with the Pawan Kalyan-led Jana Sena Party (JSP) contesting three and the TDP retaining the remainder.

BJP is reportedly seeking key constituencies including Vizag, Vijayawada, Araku, Rajampet, Rajahmundry, Tirupati, and one additional location. It is projected that they may secure 4-6 seats, while Jana Sena might secure three seats, including Machilipatnam for Balashowree.

The JSP, a former NDA member, has already joined hands with the TDP and is actively urging the BJP to follow suit. Mr Kalyan himself participated in the meeting with Mr Shah. The JSP has already been allotted three Lok Sabha and 24 Assembly seats.

The BJP, eyeing a decisive victory in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, has been working towards expanding the NDA. With a target of winning 370 seats on its own and 400 with allies, the party sees partnering with regional parties aligned with its agenda as crucial for success. Besides Andhra Pradesh, the BJP is also expected to announce a poll pact with the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha.

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