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Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu to address assembly today, may announce stand on ties with NDA

N Chandrababu Naidu did not speak when all the lawmakers present at the TDP legislative party meeting on Tuesday favoured severing ties with the NDA alliance.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2018 13:41 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
N Chandrababu Naidu,Andhra Pradesh,Andhra Pradesh CM
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MPs stage protest at Parliament House, demanding Special Category status for Andhra Pradesh during the second phase of the Budget Session, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (PTI)

TDP president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu will clarify his stand on withdrawing from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance at the Centre on Wednesday, a day after his party’s legislators demanded to pull out from the coalition over the issue of special category status.

Naidu did not speak when all the lawmakers present at the TDP legislative party meeting on Tuesday favoured severing ties with the alliance. However, a party legislator said the chief minister will now take steps to end the alliance.

“It will begin with the two central ministers stepping down, most likely on March 10,” the party leader, who did not to be named, said.

Sources in the party said the chief minister would consult senior party leaders and the junior minister in the NDA government at the Centre YS Chowdary, who has been conducting negotiations with Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah. A delegation from the state met with Jaitley on Monday.

They added that Naidu will make a statement about the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 in the state assembly and may also talk about the future of the party’s alliance with the NDA.

In Delhi, the BJP is bracing for what appears imminent parting of ways with the ally.

“We are committed to the development of Andhra Pradesh and have done everything possible to help the state government. But, many of their demands are unrealistic,” a BJP leader said on the condition of anonymity.

Reports said Jaitley told the delegation from Andhra Pradesh during their meeting on Monday that the Centre could only consider a special package for the state and that granting special category status was out of the question.

Jaitley said many others states, including Bihar and West Bengal, would also make the same demand if backwardness was the criterion and it would not be possible to give such status to many states, the reports added.

The TDP’s demand for the special status, which allows tax concessions and 90% central grant as given to the Himalayan states, is the bone of contention. The Centre believes that the demand is unjustified and granting of special status has already been abolished with the implementation of the 14 Finance Commission.

The southern party’s MPs have given notices for an adjournment motion in both houses of Parliament demanding a discussion on the act. Both the Houses have been adjourned several times in the past few days over the issue.

Naidu also said he would write letters to all the regional and national parties highlighting the “injustices” being meted out to Andhra Pradesh by the NDA government at the Centre and seek their cooperation in his fight for justice.

Ties between the BJP and the TDP have come under severe strain after the southern party accused the Centre of making “insufficient” allocations for Andhra Pradesh in the Budget 2018-19.

Naidu has said he is ready to move a no-confidence motion against the central government with the support of other parties to get “justice” for the southern state. However, he said such a move will be the “last resort”.

First Published: Mar 07, 2018 13:29 IST