The sudden outburst from the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in Andhra Pradesh against their political ally Telugu Desam Party and its president N Chandrababu Naidu in the last three days has surprised many.
Though the Andhra BJP leaders like Somu Veerraju, Daggubati Purandeshwari and B Vishnu Kumar Raju have been critical of Naidu now and then, they had confined mostly to issues like Polavaram project and misuse of central funds by the state government.
However, they started aggressive attacks on Naidu, soon after the BJP party winning the assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
Leaders like Veerraju have gone to the extent of challenging Naidu to make an announcement that the TDP would go alone in the 2019 elections.
Veerraju even said the BJP was preparing to contest the elections in all the assembly and Lok Sabha seats in 2019. He said the BJP would decide who would be the next chief minister of AP.
This has come as a surprise to the political observers. They now wonder whether the BJP is overestimating its strength in Andhra Pradesh or it is playing any mind game with Naidu.
The second view appears to be more appropriate, as the BJP definitely knows it does not have enough strength to contest all the seats in AP. Forget leaders, it does not have the sufficient cadre base in several constituencies.
Yet, it is trying to blackmail Naidu so as to secure as many MP seats as possible from Andhra Pradesh.
And they think Naidu, who is desperately depending on the Centre for funds to speed up developmental works during the election year, cannot bounce back.
But election is a different ball game and Naidu has the capacity to turn tables on the BJP in the eleventh hour!