Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and YSRCP head YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had high hopes when he took the two-hour flight to New Delhi.
Jagan has been trying to cosy up to the BJP, and he rejected a joint Opposition call to skip the inauguration of the new Parliament House on Sunday, 28 May. So did his rival political party, the TDP.
However, his hopes were dashed when he realised that he had travelled only to hear Prime Minister Narendra Modi showering praises on NT Rama Rao, the TDP founder.
Both the YSRCP and TDP have been trying to be in the good books of the BJP ahead of the elections next year. Jagan wanted to show Naidu that the BJP is favouring him, even as the latter has been trying to forge a tie-up with the saffron party.
Naidu believes that an association with the BJP would help him in exposing the skeletons in the YSRCP cupboard. Being an astute politician, the TDP supremo knows that he has to target the morale of his rival to emerge victorious.
Prime Minister Modi did shake hands with Jagan. The Andhra Pradesh chief minister also had a 40-minute talk with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Nothing political, the Chief Minister’s Office later issued a statement — drab and repetitive as usual. The discussions were on “issues related to the development projects” in the state.
Significantly, Jagan’s Delhi visit came against the backdrop of the CBI trying to arrest Kadapa MP and YSRCP leader YS Avinash Reddy in the 2019 murder of YS Vivekananda Reddy, former minister and the chief minister’s uncle who is popularly known as Viveka.
Jagan knows how Naidu’s mind works. The YSRCP supremo wants the BJP to be on his side so that he could have the last laugh.
Though the BJP is not a formidable force in Andhra, both YSRCP and TDP know it could affect their fortunes. Nadiu did not attend the function since he had to participate in the TDP’s annual conference, Mahanadu, at Rajamahendravaram on 28 May, the birth centenary of NT Rama Rao.
Though the YSRCP and TDP are trying to woo Modi, the prime minister doesn’t seem to have taken their overtures seriously.
Apparently, the prime minister knows that if he falls short of MPs after the general elections, both Telugu parties would support him, meaning, the BJP will have the backing of 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.