In spite of strong denial and rebuttal from YSR Congress party leaders including urban development minister Botsa Satyanarayana and advisor (public affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, the talk of the party joining the National Democratic Alliance continues to be creating ripples in the media.
According to the latest talk, YSRC president and chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy is understood to have offered one or two Rajya Sabha seats to the Bharatiya Janata Party as a goodwill gesture to maintain cordial relations with the Centre in the best interest of the state.
“Though the YSRC might not join the NDA officially for various reasons, it can still maintain friendly relations with the BJP. This will help the Jagan government gain various benefits to the state from the Centre,” a political analyst observed.
The YSRC will get all the four additional Rajya Sabha seats that are going to fall vacant this April with the expiry of term of sitting MPs – K Kesava Rao, T Subbarami Reddy, M A Khan and Thota Seetharama Lakshmi. With this, the strength of the YSRC in Rajya Sabha will go up to six.
The Telugu Desam Party will be left with only one MP seat – that of Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar, who will be in the post till 2024.
Unless the assembly elections in the state are held in advance and the TDP wins considerable number of MLA seats, the party will lose its existence in the Upper House.
Of the four seats that are going to fall vacant, the talk is that the YSRC might offer one seat to the BJP and the number might go to two, if the Centre offers more benefits to the YSRC government.
Since the BJP is looking for increasing its strength in Rajya Sabha in the wake of defeats in various states, it might accept the YSRC offer, in lieu of the benefits to be given to the state.
But the moment YSRC leaves two RS seats to the BJP, it amounts to a direct alliance between the two parties, though the YSRC might not join the NDA.
“It does mean there will be an alliance between the two parties, but the YSRC will be giving an external support to the NDA, just like what the TDP had with the BJP between 1999 and 2004,” the analyst said.