TDP quitting NDA unfortunate, politically motivated: Amit Shah in letter to Chandrababu Naidu
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TDP quitting NDA unfortunate, politically motivated: Amit Shah in letter to Chandrababu Naidu

india Updated: Mar 24, 2018 23:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah (PTI File Photo)

The decision by Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to walk out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was “unfortunate and unilateral” and politically motivated, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah said.

In an open nine-page response to TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu’s letter to him on March 16, Shah said the assertion that the BJP was not sensitive towards the aspiration of the people of Andhra was “untrue and baseless”.

Within hours, Naidu launched a tirade against the BJP and described the letter written by Shah as “a bundle of lies”.

Read | ‘Why are you spreading lies’: Chandrababu Naidu responds to Amit Shah’s letter

Two TDP ministers, Ashok Gajapathi Raju and YS Chowdary, resigned from the government on March 8 and the party left the NDA on March 16, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP had reneged on a promise to designate Andhra a special category state, which would have entitled it to special central grants.

The TDP and its rival YSR Congress Party have since served notices of a no-confidence motion against the NDA that haven’t been taken up because of noisy protests in Parliament.

“This decision is both unfortunate as well as unilateral. It is a decision, I am afraid, will be construed as being guided wholly and solely by political considerations instead of development concerns. It is widely known that the government has not left any stone unturned in ensuring growth and prosperity of Andhra Pradesh,” Shah wrote in his letter.

Naidu wrote to Shah last week, “I have come to Delhi about 29 times to seek justice for our people. Every time, I returned only with promises and assurances.”

In his response dated March 23, Shah claimed that ”massive resource allocations” had been made to Andhra and most promises made in the Reorganisation Act that led to the state’s 2014 bifurcation to create a separate state of Telangana were poised to be fulfilled.

“….any claim of discrimination against Andhra Pradesh is far from the facts,” Shah wrote.

He listed out several schemes and projects to suggest the “central government has not only fulfilled its statutory obligations under the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, but has gone far beyond to ensure that the state becomes financially strong”.

“On the issue of special status for Andhra Pradesh, it is regrettable that some political parties are whipping up public sentiments rather than encouraging an informed debate which is the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy,” Shah wrote.

The BJP president said the Centre had offered a Special Assistance Measure (financial package) to Andhra in September 2016, which was equivalent to key financial benefits the state would have got as a special category state.

“Your government hailed this central assistance package as a great achievement of the state government,” Shah said. “Suddenly, two years later, you have made a U-turn once again demanding the special status, which has become redundant in view of the financial commitments already fulfilled by the central government.”

“I would like you to introspect whether political parties should be pitting sentiments and development against each other to further their political agenda,” Shah wrote.

Meanwhile, Naidu on Saturday described Shah’s letter as “a bundle of lies” and said it had deeply hurt the feelings of the people of the state. Within a few hours after receiving the letter, Naidu launched a tirade in the state legislative assembly, stating that the letter was full of false information which exposed the BJP’s attitude towards the state.

Taking strong exception to the tone and tenor of the language used in Shah’s letter, Naidu alleged that the BJP chief had tried to misrepresent facts. “If the Congress had done injustice to the state by undertaking unscientific bifurcation of the combined state, the BJP has done much more injustice by failing to fulfil the promises made in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act,” he said. He refuted Shah’s allegation that the TDP had quit the NDA unilaterally, guided wholly and solely by political considerations instead of development concerns.

First Published: Mar 24, 2018 22:55 IST