Alliance talks will top Naidu’s agenda when he meets PM Modi

Alliance talks will top Naidu’s agenda when he meets PM Modi

By S. RAMA KRISHNA | HYDERABAD | 6 January, 2018
There have been murmurs from some local BJP leaders that the party may desert ally TDP to join hands with the YSR Congress, ahead of next year’s elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be meeting his NDA ally and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in Delhi on Friday. The scheduled meeting, which comes after the gap of a year, has led to considerable anticipation in both the TDP and BJP circles. 

According to a TDP Rajya Sabha member, the CM would be raising a number of issues including the crucial electoral alliance between the two parties ahead of next general elections due in early 2019. “Our CM will be seeking clarity from PM Modi on whether BJP was having any second thoughts on going along with the TDP in the next elections,” said the MP who preferred not to be quoted.

There have been reports recently that the BJP may desert ally Naidu to join hands with Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy led YSR Congress ahead of the 2019 elections. 

Some local BJP leaders said the party was open minded on aligning with any party next year.

Former Union minister Daggubati Purandeswari, who is the sister of CM Naidu’s wife Bhuvaneswari, said at a BJP workers’ meeting in Srikakulam district on Friday that the party was ready to contest all 175 Assembly seats if it were to go it alone in the next elections. Another BJP MLC Som Veerraju said that the BJP was ready to ally with any party, including YSR Congress in 2019.

Naidu issued gag orders on his ministers and MLAs on crossing swords with BJP leaders who criticised his government on various issues and on the question of alliance in the next elections. But Naidu is expected to raise the issue himself with the PM. “PM Modi is the highest and right decision maker on this issue,” said the TDP MP quoted, who is close to the CM.

CM Naidu will also be discussing with the PM other major issues like completion of the prestigious Polavaram multipurpose irrigation project across the Godavari river before March 2019. 

The CM would make a presentation before the PM on Polavaram project and impress on the need to complete at least a major portion of it before elections so that it can be showcased before the public as his government’s achievement. PM Modi had earlier said that he would throw his weight behind the project.

Next on the agenda of the CM is securing Central funds for the construction of the new capital city, Amaravati. So far, the Centre has released funds to the tune of around Rs 2,800 crore, but this is too small an amount to meet the state’s requirement of around Rs 25,000 crore to build administrative and judicial cities which form part of the core capital.

There are 100 other issues on CM Naidu’s wish list which would be discussed with the PM. These are related to the assurances made by the Centre at the time of division of combined Andhra Pradesh four years ago. 

The shifting of the AP High Court to Amaravati by June first week would require some Central assistance, sources said. CM Naidu might invite the PM to inaugurate the HC and other events in the first week of June. In the last one year, Naidu had sought appointment with the PM thrice but was disappointed.

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