The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president joined hands with the party in November, despite having been critical of it over unfulfilled promise on special category status for Andhra Pradesh.
The alliance, ahead of the Telangana elections, has been touted as the big development that can stir things up in 2019.
Despite terming the alliance a “democratic compulsion”, Naidu, throughout his campaign, has steered clear of making any statement that might even slightly hint at his past animosity with the Congress — if any of that remains now.
Naidu was the convenor of the United Front in 1996, which the TDP was a part of. Before that, TDP’s founder NT Rama Rao was significant in forming the National Front led by Janata Dal in 1989.
Now with the Mahakutami — the alliance in Telangana against the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) — Naidu has involved everyone in the state and otherwise for what is being touted as his biggest prestige battle.
The Andhra Pradesh CM, who was ousted from Hyderabad, the city he has held on to and claims to have built so dearly, has aligned with not just the Congress, but also with the CPI and Telangana Jana Samithi.
Their campaigning has been relentless, enough to unsettle Telangana Chief Minister and TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, popularly known as KCR. But the fight goes further for Naidu as he waits to usurp the BJP nationally. Not making his anger against the saffron party any subtle, his plans of defeating it in Telangana will also give the anti-BJP front a boost nationally.
By bringing the Mahakutami together, Naidu has given out one message loud and clear: the TDP can remain in isolation. His alliance with the Congress has also ensured that his grip in national politics becomes stronger and probably the only way for him to achieve what seems to be his ultimate goal: ousting the BJP from power next year.
Political analysts, too, believe that the election is indeed Naidu’s game to win or lose, not just in Telangana or nationally, but also in Andhra Pradesh. “This alliance will pave the way for what happens to TDP in Andhra. Jana Sena will not align with him, YSR is his arch rival and he most definitely will not go to BJP. If this alliance goes down in Telangana, Naidu has nowhere to turn,” said one analyst that News18 spoke to.
If the alliance, however, makes a mark, it will take Naidu a long way ahead in his home turf in Andhra and nationally too, the analyst added.