Hyderabad: The BJP announced cheerily this evening that its alliance with Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh is "rocking" - the reassurance was offered by Prakash Javadekar this evening who said, "It's not rocky, it's rocking". Mr Naidu had suggested the opposite at a rally last evening, declaring that the partnership was placed near break point.
He has partnered with the BJP for the state and national election, which is being held simultaneously in Andhra Pradesh.
To keep Mr Naidu among its club of 25 pre-poll allies, the BJP has reportedly agreed to cede a part of its quota of assembly seats to Mr Naidu's Telugu Desam Party or TDP.
Mr Naidu had publicly faulted the BJP for selecting weak candidates for the state election - by association, he said, voters would reject his party's candidates for Parliament. The other sticking point - unacknowledged publicly - is that the BJP has given a ticket to his sister-in-law, Purandeswari, for the national election. She quit the Congress recently for the BJP, and her relationship with Mr Naidu, who is married to her sister, has been fractious.
Analysts had stressed that for all his tough talk, Mr Naiduis unlikely to punt the potential benefits of partnering with the BJP, given that it's predicted to win the maximum seats in the national election. (Elections: full coverage)
For the BJP, Mr Naidu offers a valuable ally in the South where it has traditionally been on weak ground. In the regions of Seemandhra, which will form the new Andhra Pradesh after Telangana is carved out on June 2, Mr Naidu is expected to poll strong results because unlike several other parties, he avoided openly endorsing the bifurcation of the state. (Read: BJP announces alliance with Chandrababu Naidu's TDP)
Tomorrow is the last day for candidates to file their nomination papers in Andhra Pradesh. Just in case a happy ending is not configured, both parties are drawing up a list of candidates for all constituencies - so they have the option to fight each other as Plan B.