AP CM Chandrababu Naidu to firm up TD base before breaking with BJP

Hyderabad: AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will take more time before snapping the ties with the BJP, after firming up an alliance with actor Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena, propagating the five per cent reservation given to the Kapus and announcing more sops to the Backward Classes in the Budget next year.

An internal assessment of the party indicates that the TD has gained the upper hand over the BJP on the controversy over the Polavaram dam, as the Centre has not been able to fulfil its promises to the state.

A key functionary of the TD government told this newspaper, “Mr Naidu is not in a hurry to pull out from the NDA as of now. He will wait for a politically opportune time. It may take a few more months.” Mr Naidu would use the time to consolidate the party base, he said.

According to the internal assessment, the TD government has been able to create a strong feeling among the general public that the Centre was not cooperative with regard to the Polavaram project and on other major issues in the AP Reorganisation Act.

The BJP has not been able to counter the message and defend the Centre. The party leadership has delayed appointing the state BJP chief for one and a half years after party president Amit Shah made the announcement in Rajahmundry.

This has given space for the TD to establish its argument that it is doing its level best despite lack of sufficient help from the Centre.

The source said Mr Naidu was not averse to having a tie-up with Mr Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena for 2019. The TD expects more youth to turn to the TD after finalising the unemployment allowance and creation of more jobs, besides the tie-up with Mr Kalyan who remains a popular film actor.

The reservation for the Kapus is also meant to strengthen the vote base in at least eight districts of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. 

According to a senior minister in the Naidu Cabinet, the Chief Minister will come out with a scheme for the Backward Classes to help them get more sophisticated and modern tools and equipment to practise their traditional trades. “This may resemble the revival of the ‘Aadarana’ scheme for BC communities. Probably in the funds will be allocated for this purpose,” he said.

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