Sixty-plus energetic youngsters. That is how Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu described himself and Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. “I am not old. I am senior. I and Modi are 60 plus energetic youngsters,” Mr. Naidu quipped after his name was announced as his party’s candidate from Kuppam, an assembly constituency in Chittoor district which he has been representing without a break since 1989.
Both Mr. Naidu and Mr. Modi are 63. On Sunday, the TDP stitched an alliance with the BJP for the Lok Sabha and assembly polls, which will be held simultaneously, hoping to capitalize on the surge in Mr Modi’s popularity.
The TDP has returned to the NDA fold after a gap of 10 years last week. “We have taken this decision for the people of this state…The BJP will contest five Lok Sabha seats and 15 Assembly seats in Andhra; in Telangana it will contest eight Lok Sabha seats and 47 Assembly seats,” Mr Naidu announced.
In Telangana, the Congress and K Chandrasekhar Rao of the TRS will get seven each, the poll forecasts. The TDP lands two.
In 2009, the TDP could only win six of the 42 seats in the Lok Sabha, and 92 of the 294 seats in the Andhra Pradesh assembly.
While the constituencies falling in the newly-carved state of Telangana will go to polls on April 30, the residual region of Seemandhra, or Andhra Pradesh as it will be formally called after June 2, will vote on May 7.
Telangana accounts for 17 seats in the Lok Sabha, and 119 seats in the assembly. Seemandhra will, post-bifurcation, be left with 25 constituencies in the Lok Sabha, and 175 seats in the assembly.