Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy is facing a Hamletian dilemma - to do or not to do. According to reliable sources, PM Modi wants him to join the NDA. Though the YSRCP chief is tempted, local political considerations are preventing him from joining the BJP led NDA.
Jagan who met the PM in New Delhi on Tuesday, declined to comment on the outcome. According to his close confidantes, the purpose of his Delhi visit was different, nothing to do with the possibility of him joining the NDA, but it was also discussed.
After Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP walked out of the Modi government in 2018, there was a proposal to rope in YSRCP. But, Jagan did not show much interest. The YSRCP supremo fears that joining the NDA, might turn Muslims and Christians against him in the state. Minorities, who constitute over 10% of the total population, are the hardcore backers of Jaganmohan Reddy.
He is also worried that joining the government might reduce his bargaining powers with the government. He feels that staying out and extending issue-based support would help him as he won't be blamed for the failures of the Centre.
"It is true that we have an open offer to join the government. But, we have to take local considerations into account. The majority view is against joining the government. Anyway, we have been supporting the government on all major issues. We have a very good relationship with the Centre" said a close aide of the Andhra Pradesh CM.
Some say Jagan might consider the offer if the BJP orders a CBI probe into Amaravati land scam of TDP chief Naidu. He is also expecting some generous funding from the Centre to complete a few ongoing projects in the state. The BJP's ambitions to grow in AP replacing the main opposition TDP is also coming in the way. If YSRCP joins the government, it may help TDP revive and BJP can't grow in the state.
In the last Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, the YSRCP swept the polls making Jagan the CM of AP. Jagan has maintained a good relationship with the Modi government in the last six years and it was one of the reasons for the TDP to pull out of NDA.
The BJP which has lost several allies including the two oldest partners Shiv Sena and SAD in the last one year is looking for new allies to tell the world that it can still work with allies. If YSRCP joins the NDA, it would be a major shift in Andhra Pradesh politics.