There seems to be more to the visit of Union water resources minister Nitin Gadkari to the multipurpose Polavaram project site on Wednesday than what meets the eye.
Gadkari’s visit to Polavaram site was actually not very much needed, as his ministry has been getting periodical reports from the Polavaram Project Authority authorities from time to time.
According to reliable sources, the minister chose to visit to the project as a goodwill gesture and bridge the gap between the BJP and the TDP.
Sources say the BJP leadership is under tremendous pressure from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for restoring the friendship with its allies.
The Sangh is said to be of the view that the allies are gradually moving away from it because of the dictatorial attitude of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it is essential that they all should be brought back into the BJP fold.
The reconciliation with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and friendly gesture to Shiv Sena are part of the efforts to build bridges with the allies.
The RSS has also realised the fact that Modi’s graph has been going down and it is essential to project an alternative leadership by next elections.
The best alternative for Modi, according to sources, is Nitin Gadkari who is from RSS headquarters of Nagpur. That is precisely why Gadkari has been sent to make friendship with the TDP again. Moreover, Gadkari is also learnt to have business association with the TDP leaders.
Sources said Gadkari’s visit to Polavaram, his praise for the commitment of TDP president and chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in completing the project and his assurance to release necessary funds are all part of this strategy.
In the coming days, there is no surprise if the Centre announces railway zone for Visakhapatnam and steel plant for Kadapa.
However, Naidu has come too far ahead in attacking the BJP and cannot suddenly return to the NDA fold. And the local BJP leaders, too, have been attacking Chandrababu Naidu.
So, for now, they would continue to attack each other but may come to a friendly understanding in the post-election scenario.
Who knows, Naidu might even back the NDA in the event of it falling short of majority!