Andhra Pradesh politics has taken an unexpected turn. With the Centre categorically refusing to budge on the special status issue, the TDP has walked out of the Union Cabinet and is looking for allies. The opposition party YCP too is in the same position, with an alliance with the BJP ruled out by Arun Jaitley’s statement. This has left both parties stranded in the allies game. While YCP is flying solo at the momnet, TDP is a disinterested member of the NDA. It is unclear if the parties will opt for a coalition or choose to contest the elections alone.
Meanwhile, the Congress party is working towards building a strong UPA 3. Sonia Gandhi, who served as Chairperson for both UPA 1 and 2, is heading this exercise. The Congress is hoping for this to be completed before the AICC plenary starting March 16th. Reports say that Sonia Gandhi has planned to host a banquet on 13th March for representatives of parties opposed to the BJP. 17 invitations have already been sent out.
Telangana CM KCR’s call for a Third Front would definitely dilute the attendance of this banquet. However, the fact that Rahul Gandhi has already assured that his first signature as PM would be to grant special status to A.P. cannot be ignored by the Andhra political parties. It is already estimated that YCP is a Congress sympathiser. Given current circumstances, will TDP, too, stretch a hand of friendship to the Congress? Will both Y.S.Jagan and Chandrababu Naidu be present at Sonia’s banquet? We will have to wait till the 13th to know for sure!