A crucial ally.

Chandrababu props up one more PM; Modi needs to treat this ally with care

TDP leader’s hand in making of three PMs: Gowda, Gujral and Vajpayee; now Modi

Prashun Bhaumik | New Delhi | 7 June, 2024 | 09:10 PM

The wheel now has turned full circle. In a repeat of 1999, Naidu is backing from a position of strength a weakened Modi, a la Vajpayee. After his first interactions in Delhi, he indicated that the terms of engagement were in the works. Be that as it may, there’s a historical irony about this equation. A votary that he is, like Vajpayee, of “coalition and raj dharma”, Naidu took a very difficult call after the 2002 Gujarat riots to continue backing the government at the Centre. Instead of taking back his outside support, which would’ve brought down the NDA edifice, he allowed himself to be persuaded by Farooq Abdullah who privately argued that with what face would his National Conference stay in the government if Naidu decided to quit.