Narendra Modi has made his mind clear. He will not share the dais with Chandrababu Naidu. The only public meetings that he is ready to be seen with Naidu would have to be under the NDA banner where other leaders from the alliance will also be present.
Based on this premise, the BJP central leadership on Tuesday fixed Modi’s itinerary for Telangana region tentatively on April 22 or 24 where he will address three meetings.
The first two public meetings will be ‘only Modi’ affairs where he would address the electorate in Nizamabad at 11 am and Karimnagar at 3 pm. To accommodate Naidu, the BJP is willing to make the third public meeting in Hyderabad the same day an NDA affair. “The first two meetings are pure BJP affairs as Modi will be campaigning for party candidates Yendala Lakshminarayana in Nizamabad and Vidyasagar Rao in Karimnagar. Our leader (Modi) is very clear that the third public meeting in Hyderabad should be a NDA show, which would mean that not only Naidu, but leaders from the other allies like Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, Lok Janashakti Party and partners from Tamil Nadu too will take part in the meeting,” Premender Reddy, BJP state vice-president and convener of the campaign committee, told TOI.
Premender said the itinerary for Modi’s campaign has been finalised and the state party unit was waiting for the confirmation of date and timing. The Telangana BJP unit was busy corresponding with the national spokesperson Prakash Javadekar till late in the evening on Tuesday so that it can go ahead with the arrangements.
In the meantime, BJP’s Mahabubnagar Lok Sabha candidate Nagam Janardhan Reddy is desperately requesting the party central leadership to plead with Modi to address a meeting in his constituency as well. Nagam is pitted against Congress’ Jaipal Reddy and TRS’ Jitender Reddy.
The TDP is miffed that Modi is not willing to share the dais with Naidu. “We understand that the BJP wants to make the Nizamabad and Karimnagar meetings a party show. But Modi can share the dais with Naidu at least in Hyderabad. In what way would the presence of other NDA allies like Shiv Sena and Akali Dal help either the BJP or TDP in Telangana?” wondered a senior TDP leader, clearly conceding that Modi is taking every precaution to ensure that Naidu is not perceived by the public as having the same stature as him.
The friction between Modi and Naidu became clear when the TDP president told his supporters at a meeting a few days ago that Modi has become the chief minister only recently whereas he had become the CM nearly 20 years ago.
“Despite differences between the two leaders, we went ahead with the alliance as it is beneficial to both of us. We will not come in its way at this stage,” said a TDP source.
While the BJP has fixed the itinerary of Modi for the Telangana region, what the arrangement will be made in Seemandhra is still unclear.
“In the Seemandhra region, Naidu will insist on at least one public meeting where the two leaders will share the dais,” said senior TDP members. But will Modi oblige is the million dollar question.
Courtesy: The Times of India