» News » Chiranjeevi rules out BJP alliance, but partner NTP speaks to Advani

Chiranjeevi rules out BJP alliance, but partner NTP speaks to Advani

By Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad
Last updated on: February 18, 2009 21:12 IST
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There are signs of trouble between actor Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam Party and the Nava Telangana Party over the issue of an alliance or understanding with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Even as the NTP president T Devender Goud is scheduled to meet BJP's the prime ministerial candidate L K Advani and party president Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Thursday, Chiranjeevi has ruled out the possibility of a tie up with the saffron party.

Goud has gone to meet the top brass of the BJP amid indications that he will discuss the idea of an alliance or seat adjustment by the PRP-NTP alliance and the BJP, as the NTP and the BJP were strongly in favour of the formation of Telangana state.

But Chiranjeevi has thrown a spanner in Goud's plans by categorically declaring that no understanding with the BJP was possible.

"Ours is a secular party", Chiranjeevi told media persons at the Hyderabad airport before boarding a helicopter to Kurnool for his road show.

Chiranjeevi said he was also not interested in joining hands with any third political force at the national level.

"If any of my party leaders have said anything about a tie-up with the BJP, it is their personal view", he said.

Goud is meeting with the BJP leaders after talking to Chiranjeevi and his brother Naga Babu.

Sources say both the NTP and PRP leaders were thinking of adjustment with a national party for different reasons. While Devender Goud is worried that his party had failed to take off and he could not make much of an impact in the Telangana region on his own, there is a feeling in the PRP that the party will not be able to face two big forces --the ruling Congress party and the TDP-led Grand Alliance -- on its own.

Sources close to Goud say that he wants to avoid the division of pro-Telangana votes in the region by joining hands with the BJP. The BJP has already promised that it will deliver Telangana state within a 100 days of coming to power.

Observers say that if the two parties continue to pull in different directions vis-à-vis the BJP, it will endanger the PRP-NTP alliance.

But according to the NTP sources, Devender Goud decided to take the initiative for talks with the BJP after he received backing from several Telangana organisations for friendship with the BJP.

The organisations told Goud that by having an alliance with the BJP he can teach a lesson both to the Congress and the TRS for cheating the people of Telangana. They also pointed out that after the specific assurance of the BJP that it will give Telangana state within hundred days of coming to power at the Centre, there was nothing wrong in accepting its hand of friendship.

It may be recalled that the BJP leaders are not unfamiliar to Goud as he had played a mediator between the BJP and the TDP in 1998 and helped in forming the National Democratic Alliance government. The sources said that on the same basis now he wants to mediate between Chinranjeevi and the BJP. Sources also say that once the deal is struck between the NTP and the BJP, Chiranjeevi will be forced to fall in line.

PRP to contest in neighbouring states

Chiranjeevi also confirmed that his party was planning to contest the polls in the Telugu dominated areas of neighbouring states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Orissa.

"The party is planning to field its candidates in the Telugu belts of these states", he told media persons.

According to PRP sources, prospective candidates from these areas have approached the party with a request for party tickets and urged Chiranjeevi to tour the Telugu-speaking areas of these states.

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad