Carrying out its threat “in the interest of the people of Andhra Pradesh”, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which has 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha, walked out of the ruling NDA on Friday
Carrying out its threat “in the interest of the people of Andhra Pradesh”, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which has 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha, walked out of the ruling NDA on Friday. TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who directed his party to bring in its own no-confidence motion against the Modi government, told the state assembly that “BJP allies are fighting for their rights in Parliament” but the Prime Minister did not have time to address their concerns. The government, however, exuded confidence about its stability. Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said: “The whole country has full confidence in the prime minister as does the House. The government has the numbers… We are ready to take up everything.” Earlier, ending his party’s four-year alliance with the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) over denial of special category status to Andhra Pradesh, Naidu announced in Amaravati that he had decided to leave the NDA. Simultaneously, Thota Narasimhan, floor leader of the TDP in the Lok Sabha, gave notice to move a no-confidence motion against the BJP government. When Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said that the motion could not be taken up as long as there was no order in the House, Narasimhan gave another notice, asking her to “include the motion in the revised List of Business for March 19”. TDP’s rival in Andhra Pradesh, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), also gave notice to express no-confidence in the council of ministers.
In Amaravati, Naidu told the assembly: “I took the decision in the interest of the people of Andhra Pradesh and not for any selfish, personal reason. Everyone knows that for four years we tried hard and made all efforts to secure whatever was promised to the state as per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. I went to New Delhi 29 times but there was no response. The last Budget was a big disappointment as there was no mention of our state. When the BJP’s allies are fighting for their rights in Parliament, can’t the prime minister give some time to address them? I waited until Thursday before deciding to leave the NDA.’’ On March 8, the TDP’s two ministers at the Centre, P Ashok Gajapathi Raju and YS Chowdary, resigned in protest after Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said there was no question of granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
On Thursday, Naidu had indicated that the TDP would back the no-confidence notice moved by the YSRCP. But on Friday, TDP leaders said the party would move a separate notice as it smelt a nexus between the YSRCP and BJP. “We go according to principles. Our leader felt being part of the NDA and moving a no-confidence motion would not be ethical. So we withdrew from the NDA, and I have issued a letter on a no-confidence motion to the Speaker at 9.30 am,” Narasimham told reporters in New Delhi. His party colleague Ramesh claimed that YSRCP MP Vijaysai Reddy was seen trying to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and this, he said, suggested a nexus between the two parties. “We have no confidence in their no-confidence motion, so we have decided to go on our own,” he said.