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Chandrababu Naidu heads to Delhi with demands as TDP emerges strong in NDA

Chandrababu Naidu

Following the Telugu Desam Party's (TDP) impressive performance in Andhra Pradesh, winning 16 out of 17 contested Lok Sabha seats, party chief Chandrababu Naidu is set to leverage the newfound strength of his party within the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

With the BJP falling short of a majority at the national level, Naidu's TDP emerges as the second-largest constituent within the alliance, granting him significant bargaining power.

Dispelling speculations about a potential shift to the INDIA bloc, Naidu reaffirmed his commitment to the NDA, announcing his attendance at the NDA meeting in New Delhi. He hinted at forthcoming developments, signaling his intent to press for a set of demands beneficial to Andhra Pradesh.

Among the key demands likely to be raised by Naidu is the reinstatement of Special Category Status (SCS) for Andhra Pradesh. The SCS designation would entail increased Central funds, augmented grants-in-aid, and various industrial incentives aimed at fostering state development, a matter that prompted TDP's exit from the NDA in 2018.

Additionally, Naidu aims to secure additional funding from the Centre to revive the stalled development of Amaravati, the state capital project initiated during his tenure. With numerous infrastructural projects lying dormant under the current regime, Naidu is keen to kickstart development initiatives upon assuming office as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister.

Further, Naidu is expected to prioritize the completion of the Polavaram project, a longstanding endeavor promised by the TDP during election campaigns. The project's fulfillment holds significant importance for Naidu's administration and the state's overall welfare.

In his pursuit of bolstering TDP's influence within the NDA, Naidu may seek key Cabinet portfolios in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, alongside advocating for his son, Nara Lokesh's elevation to a national leadership role within the party.

Amid allegations of corruption against the incumbent Andhra Pradesh government, Naidu is likely to push for central agencies to investigate purported scams, signaling his commitment to combatting corruption and ensuring accountability in governance.

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