BJP defeat in Bihar cheers TDP ?
The BJP’s humiliating defeat in the Bihar elections has cheered the ruling Telugu Desam in AP, which now expects better treatment from the Centre on local issues. This will also be an opportunity to rein in the BJP leaders who had been criticising the TD government publicly.
On Sunday, TD president and AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu greeted Nitish Kumar personally after the Grand Alliance led by the latter registered a landslide win. Mr Naidu has maintained a good rapport with leaders in a number of states ever since his foray into national politics in 1996 as United Front convener, Chief Minister and president of the TD.
The shrewd politician has changed his alliance politics, from the United Front backed by the Left and Congress against the BJP, to the BJP-led NDA against the self-same Congress and Left. While he was criticised as being opportunistic, he has been able to establish good relationships with every state leader across the nation.
Sources close to Mr Naidu say the Bihar results should be an eye opener for the style of functioning of the Central government which hitherto had not bothered to implement the promises it made to AP, like granting special category status and special financial package. At least now the Centre will seriously work on these, they say.
Sources said that a few BJP leaders of AP, who were lately trying to grab every available opportunity to criticise the state government, would now be forced to remain silent as they would realise the need for the TD and the BJP to be united. They said the Telugu Desam, which is a partner in the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, will keep a close watch on the developments within the BJP after the Bihar debacle.
TD insiders also expect some changes in the Central Cabinet. Criticism against the functioning of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to increase in the days to come. Key Telugu Desam leader Kambhampati Rammohan Rao, special representative of the AP government in Delhi, said, “Mr Nitish Kumar’s image as pro-poor and pro- development was duly recognised by the people of Bihar for a third consecutive time. It is time for the BJP leadership to introspect as what went wrong in the polls and take corrective measures. As far as AP is concerned, the Centre should now take steps and grant special status and special package to ensure our speedy growth.”