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Gave sufficient time to BJP, couldn’t have waited more: TDP leader YS Chowdary

YS Chowdary TDP says Centre lacks intent as nothing in the law stops the BJP from accepting their demands.

india Updated: Mar 16, 2018 23:28 IST
Chandrababu Naidu,Telugu Desam Party,TDP Quits Nda
TDP leader YS Chowdary says the party had no option but to quit the NDA alliance.(Mint File Photo)

Telugu Desam Party (TDP)’s Rajya Sabha MP YS Chowdary was a junior minister in the Narendra Modi government. He resigned from the ministerial post on March 8, along with his party colleague Ashok Gajapathi Raju, following a decision by TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu to protest against the government’s denial of special category status that would have ensured special central grants to Andhra Pradesh. The party on Friday decided to pull out of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), too, and Chowdary said it had been left with no other option. Excerpts from an interview:

Why did the TDP pull out of the NDA alliance?

The Centre did not keep its promise of granting special category status for Andhra Pradesh. We waited for years for the BJP-led central government to deliver on that promise.

It was not announced in the budget and there was no point in waiting any more. We gave sufficient time to the BJP.

What was Chandrababu Naidu’s message to TDP MPs today?

He said the TDP is pulling out of the NDA because the BJP did not keep its promise. He asked us to move a no-confidence motion and mobilise the support of other parties.

Why did TDP take time between pulling out its ministers from the cabinet and snapping ties with the NDA?

We thought that the government will reconsider its stand after we resigned as ministers. We were hopeful but the government did not concede. We had no option but to quit the alliance. People of the state are agitated over the denial of special status.

Did YSR Congress’ notice of a no-trust vote against the government bring pressure on the TDP to hasten its exit from the NDA?

Certainly not. People familiar with state politics will agree that YS Jaganmohan Reddy is not a factor. It was the TDP which fought for the special status (for Andhra Pradesh) and continues to do so.

Do you see merit in the Centre’s argument against the special category status demand?

Every argument of the Centre is an excuse to deny Andhra Pradesh its right. Nothing in the law stops the government from accepting our demand. But they do not have the intention.

First Published: Mar 16, 2018 23:26 IST