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Opposition calls for anti-BJP unity as TDP quits NDA

The TDP has also given a notice to move a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, which has received support from many parties, including the Left and the Congress.

india Updated: Mar 16, 2018 23:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
TDP Quits NDA,Andhra Pradesh,N Chandrababu Naidu
Telugu Desam Party members raise slogans demanding special status of Andhra Pradesh, at Parliament House in New Delhi, India, on Friday, March 16, 2018.

Opposition leaders from across party lines welcomed Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu decision to pull the state’s ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) out of the BJP-led NDA at the Centre and urged all non-NDA parties to unite against the Centre.

The BJP and its allies, however, underplayed the development stating that TDP’s move won’t affect the ruling party’s poll prospects in next year’s state and general elections.

“After four years of relentless struggle and fight by the YSRCP with people’s support for Special Category Status (SCS), finally, the nation, including N Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP wakes up!...Win for democracy & people of AP,” YSR Congress Party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy said in a series of tweets.

Welcoming TDP’s decision, West Bengal chief minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee said:  “I appeal to all political parties in the Opposition to work closely together against atrocities, economic calamity and political instability.”

The TDP has also given a notice to move a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, which has received support from many parties, including the Left and the Congress.

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), led by K Chandrasekhar Rao, however ruled out its support for the no-confidence motion against the NDA government, describing the move as a “political gimmick”.

BJP unfazed

Unfazed by Opposition’s charge, BJP maintained that TDP’s decision was motivated by the party’s own political interests.

“We believe TDP is going to face a tough contest in Andhra Pradesh. They are seeing a defeat for themselves in 2019 and they want to use this as an alibi to really retrieve their lost political ground,” Rao told the media.

Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it has become a custom to witness such ‘rehearsals’ in the Parliament before the actual elections. “In a way, it is an election year and every state has demands and issues, it is not right for us to comment on it. It is a custom, before actual elections, there is always a rehearsal in Parliament,” he said.

BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) backed the Centre, saying: “Akali Dal is one of the oldest BJP allies. We have weathered many storms in the past and we will weather this also,” said party leader and food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur.

The Shiv Sena - an NDA constituent - remained non-committal on the TDP’s proposed no-confidence motion. While Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has chosen to keep mum on the political developments, party insiders said he may soon convene a meeting of top party leaders, before finalising its stand.

First Published: Mar 16, 2018 23:16 IST