Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who sought to project himself as the closest ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party with his over-action during the nomination of NDA’s presidential candidate Ramnath Kovind, received a rude shock on Wednesday.
Naidu, who was the second person after Prime Minister Narendra Modi to file the nomination papers on behalf of Kovind on June 23, was under the impression that the TDP had strengthened its ties with the BJP further and that the saffron party would not entertain his arch rival YSR Congress party any more.
However, on Wednesday, he was shocked to find YSR Congress party MP Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy accompanying Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu to file a fourth set of nomination papers on behalf of Ram Nath Kovind.
The nomination papers were filed before Lok Sabha Secretary General Anoop Mishra, who is the returning officer for the election.
Though the fourth set of nominations was not necessary as all the three sets filed by Modi, Naidu and Amit Shah were fool-proof, it was learnt the fourth set was filed only to entertain the YSR Congress party.
Apparently, Modi himself called YSRC president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy to depute his party MPs to sign the fourth set of nomination papers and asked Venkaiah to accompany them.
Though Venkaiah is a close friend of Chandrababu, he had no option but to listen to Modi and take Mekapati along with him to file the papers. This has once again led to the talk that Modi does not want to lose the friendship of Jagan and his party!