NDA partners reach seat-sharing agreement in Andhra Pradesh

Amaravati, March 11 (IANS) The Telugu Desam Party, the BJP, and the Jana Sena on Monday finalised the seat-sharing agreement for the coming Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh.

The TDP has agreed to leave 31 out of 175 Assembly seats and eight out of 25 Lok Sabha seats for its two allies.

While the Jana Sena will contest 21 Assembly and two Lok Sabha seats, the BJP will field its candidates in 10 Assembly and six Lok Sabha constituencies.

The TDP will contest 144 Assembly and 17 Lok Sabha seats under the tripartite agreement, reached after eight-hour-long talks among the leaders of the NDA constituents at TDP President and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s residence at Undavalli here.

Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, BJP national Vice President Baijayant Jay Panda, and Jana Sena leader Pawan Kalyan held talks with Naidu.

The three parties issued a joint statement on Monday night.

“The meeting sought to forge a formidable combination of seats for every alliance partner that truly represents the people of Andhra Pradesh and their aspirations. All parties agreed to make the interests of the state and its future the utmost priority and key driving factor of the seat-sharing discussion. We hope this will lay the foundation for a bright and progressive future,” reads the statement.

The names of the seats will be announced subsequently by the respective parties.

“In Amaravati today, the BJP, TDP and JSP forged a formidable seat-sharing formula. With this significant step, the people of Andhra Pradesh now stand on the threshold of reclaiming our State and paving the way for a brighter future. I humbly call upon my people of Andhra Pradesh to shower their blessings upon this alliance, and grant us a historic mandate to serve them,” Chandrababu Naidu posted on X.

The talks began two days after the three parties agreed to have an electoral alliance. Following two rounds of talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi last week, the TDP also decided to rejoin the NDA at the invitation of the BJP.

The TDP and JSP had declared the seat adjustment on February 24. Chandrababu Naidu had agreed to leave 24 out of 175 Assembly seats and three out of 25 Lok Sabha seats for Pawan Kalyan’s party. The same day, he announced TDP candidates for 94 Assembly seats while Pawan Kalyan released the first list of five candidates of Jana Sena for Assembly polls.

A couple of hours before the talks began on Monday among leaders of the three parties, the Jana Sena announced the sixth candidate. Kandula Durgesh was named as the candidate for Nidadavole Assembly constituency.

In the 2019 elections, the TDP, the BJP, and the JSP contested the polls separately. While the TDP and the BJP went alone, the JSP contested the polls in alliance with the BSP and the Left parties. The TDP, which lost power to the YSR Congress, bagged only 23 seats.

The JSP could only win a single seat while BJP drew a blank. The three parties have joined hands after a decade.

In 2014, Jana Sena leader Pawan Kalyan, a popular actor, had campaigned for the TDP-BJP alliance, which had stormed to power with 106 seats. While the TDP had won 102 seats and secured 58.29 per cent votes, the BJP had bagged four seats and polled 2.29 per cent votes.

The YSRCP was the second-largest party with 67 seats (38.28 per cent votes). Differences had cropped up among the NDA partners over the issue of special category status. While the JSP had distanced itself from the TDP and the BJP, Naidu severed ties with the BJP in 2018.



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