Image Source : X/NARENDRA MODI PM Narendra Modi and Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Jana Sena Party (JSP) formed the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in Andhra Pradesh in which N Chandrababu Naidu was sworn in as the Chief Minister for the fourth time on Wednesday (June 12). The history of the BJP-TDP alliance dates back to decades when Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR) was at the helm of the TDP in 1985. Today, the TDP is among the kingmakers in the NDA government at the Centre led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As the BJP fell short of a majority in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024, the NDA allies, including Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal-United (JDU) and Naidu-led TDP, propelled the BJP to form the government with the support of its partners.

The TDP, which won a majority in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections in 2024 and returned to power along with its allies, was founded in 1982 aiming to provide an alternative to Congress and emphasise Telugu regional pride. The BJP-TDP alliance has had its own dynamics and test of time.

First alliance partners of TDP

One of the first alliance partners of the TDP came in its first election in 1983 in which the party joined hands with Sanjay Vichar Manch, led by Maneka Gandhi. The TDP secured 201 Assembly seats, after which NTR became the chief minister. He expressed willingness to accommodate all anti-Congress parties in the alliance. It was this time when an alliance with the BJP and Left parties failed to take shape as the NTR refused to agree to as many seats as were sought by the parties.

In the 1985 elections, the TDP forged an alliance with the BJP, and secured 202 seats on its own to return to power. The tie-up continued also in the 1989 elections. However, the TDP-BJP-Left alliance failed to give the same result as the last time. Congress stormed back to power with 181 seats in the aftermath of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

In 1994, the TDP contested with CPI and CPI(M) and secured 216 on its own, propelling NTR to take over the reigns as the chief minister for the third time. However, due to an infighting within the TDP in 1995, NTR’s son-in-law Nara Chandrababu Naidu assumed the charge of the chief minister. NTR confronted a revolt within his own party after which most MLAs backed Naidu.

BJP-TDP pre-poll alliance

In the 1999 Assembly polls, the Naidu-led TDP entered into a pre-poll alliance with the BJP and won 185 seats on its own. Naidu became the chief minister for the second time. However, the government failed to return in 2004 when the alliance lost to Congress in the polls.

The TDP extended outside support to the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1999 at the Centre. TDP-BJP contested the Assembly elections together and Naidu was elected as the chief minister. In 2004, both parties fought the Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections together and lost. In 2009, both parties did not forge an alliance and contested on their own. Congress formed its government in Andhra Pradesh. In 2014, TDP and BJP once again came together and formed the alliance in the state and for Lok Sabha Elections. Naidu was elected as the chief minister in the state.

TDP contested the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections with the BJP and won 16 seats. However, Naidu walked out of the NDA government just before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He joined the NDA once again ahead of the 2024 general elections and won 16 seats, therefore becoming the kingmaker in the Modi 3.0 regime. 

On June 12, PM Modi attended the swearing-in ceremony of Chandrababu Naidu. 

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