Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The BJP on Monday expressed optimism that a large number of its old allies will return to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) it leads after the 2014 polls.
Addressing a press briefing in the national capital, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "After 2014 General Elections, you will see that many of our old allies have returned o the NDA fold."
The reaction from the party spokesman came in the wake of reports that TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu is seriously mulling to join hands with the BJP.
Removing the Congress from power is necessary to “rescue the country from the current crisis”, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu said on Sunday, and didn’t rule out a tie-up with the BJP in the process.
“Yes, my priority is to defeat the Congress,” the former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, which contributes 31 MPs to the total Congress strength of 206 in Lok Sabha, said.
Naidu had on Saturday met BJP chief Rajnath Singh triggering speculation of a tie-up between the former allies. However, he was also reported to have met the CPI-M’s Prakash Karat the same day and the JD-U’s Sharad Yadav on Sunday.
After recently breaking its 17-year alliance with the JD-U, the BJP is desperate for a new ally. Tying up with Naidu would give it a foothold in Andhra, a state where it has little presence.
Naidu was the chief architect of the non-BJP, non-Congress United Front between 1996 and 1998. His attempts now to revive this anti-Congress thread could be greatly helpful to the BJP.
Naidu’s decision to shift towards the BJP by first extending outside support to the NDA government in 1998 and then by striking a pre-poll alliance with it the following year had also helped a great deal in ending the isolation the saffron party had faced after the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992.
The BJP faces a similar situation today - the stigma of the 2002 Gujarat riots still haunts it. And it has just two allies now, the Shiv Sena and the Akali Dal.
With Agency inputs