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Rajya Sabha Polls Keeping Chandrababu Naidu from Pulling the Plug on BJP Alliance?

The three Rajya Sabha seats in the state will go to polls on March 23. A look at the seat count shows that the TDP should be able to win two seats, while YSR Congress will get one. The latter’s nominee Vemireddy Prabhakar Reddy has already filed his nomination.

Sakshi Khanna | CNN-News18

Updated:March 9, 2018, 1:34 PM IST
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Rajya Sabha Polls Keeping Chandrababu Naidu from Pulling the Plug on BJP Alliance?
File photo of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. (PTI)
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Hyderabad: The resignation of two TDP MPs from the Union Cabinet has been accepted by the President, but party leader and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has not yet pulled the plug on the alliance.

One reason could be the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections from the southern state and the number of candidates Naidu nominates. If he decides to go ahead with all three nominations, he will need the alliance’s support to see their election through.

The three Rajya Sabha seats in the state will go to polls on March 23. A look at the seat count shows that the TDP should be able to win two seats, while YSR Congress will get one. The latter’s nominee Vemireddy Prabhakar Reddy has already filed his nomination.

Andhra Pradesh has 175 MLAs and to win each Rajya Sabha, parties need the support of 44 lawmakers. With 23 MLAs from the YSR Congress defecting to the ruling TDP, the strength of the Jagan Reddy-led party is left with exactly 44 MLAs.

For the third seat, the TDP has 43 MLAs, but this tally includes four BJP lawmakers.

The YSR Congress has alleged that the TDP is trying to “buy off” the MLAs for the third seat. Sources said that the former plans to keep all its 44 MLAs at an undisclosed location to prevent poaching before the election.

With Naidu pulling out his men from Modi’s cabinet, the YSR Congress has accused him of playing a “double game” and challenged him to walk out of the NDA. The challenge adds to the pressure on Naidu to follow-through on his warning to the Centre over the denial of special package to Andhra Pradesh. The possibility of the BJP teaming up with the YSR Congress is also an additional headache.

Naidu is likely to take a call on the alliance on March 11, when the party’s Politburo meets in capital Amaravati.

Most party leaders have supported a walkout from the NDA, but Chandrababu Naidu, a seasoned politician, and master strategist is weighing all his options in view of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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