Finally, it is over: TDP quits NDA, big blow to Modi

TDP which rules Andhra Pradesh has decided to end its four-year alliance with the BJP

Hyderabad — The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the BJP suffered a big blow on Friday with its only major ally in south India, the Telugu Desam Party, walking out of it.

On a day of fast-paced changes, the TDP also announced that it was moving a No-Trust motion in Parliament against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

TDP which rules Andhra Pradesh has decided to end its four-year alliance with the BJP over the Modi government’s refusal to grant Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh which would have resulted in the state getting generous grants.

TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu, who took the decision to pull out of NDA after a politburo meeting, lashed out at Narendra Modi over his failure to fulfil the promises made to Andhra Pradesh at the time of the bifurcation of the state in 2014. Among other things, Modi and his party had promised the SCS.

After last week’s withdrawal of two TDP ministers from Modi government it was evident that the days of TDP-BJP alliance were numbered. But the process was further hastened with the opposition YSR Congress party president Jaganmohan Reddy deciding to move a no-trust motion against the Modi government.

Film star and Jana Sena party founder Pawan Kalyan was also another key factor in hastening the end. After initially hinting that he may sail with Naidu, Pawan launched a broadside against Naidu levelling charges of corruption against him and his son. He also alleged that Naidu had betrayed the state by earlier accepting Centre’s financial package in lieu of the SCS.

Pitting himself against both Naidu and Jaganmohan, Pawan threatened that he would go on an indefinite fast if the Centre did not accept the demand.

But the end came as a bit of surprise as the TDP politburo was to meet in Amaravati this evening to take a decision but it was advanced by a few hours, and Naidu held a teleconference with the party parliamentarians Friday morning informing them that TDP was no more part of NDA.

Earlier, the party had decided to support the no-trust motion moved by Jaganmohan Reddy but later decided against playing second fiddle and moved its own motion.

TDP Parliamentary party leader in Lok Sabha Thota Narasimhan gave a one-line notice to the Speaker, Sumitra Mahajan.

“The House expresses ‘no confidence’ in the Council of Ministers,” it read.

The process gained momentum with main opposition Congress and several regional non-NDA parties including AIADMK of Tamil Nadu and Trinamool Congress also announcing their support to it.

However, it could not come up for the debate on Friday as the TDP members’ protest continued to disrupt the proceedings and the Speaker adjourned the House for the day.

“TDP had to take this step because of the vindictive attitude of the Centre. Even after our ministers resigning we remained in the NDA. But there was no change in the attitude and Centre continued to put the state in a difficult situation,” Thota Narasimham said.

YS Chowdhary, one of the two ministers who had quit the Modi cabinet earlier, said, “The majority opinion in the party was that after quitting the cabinet, continuing with the NDA was meaningless.”

Naidu had given a clear indication on Thursday of his intentions to quit NDA when he launched a direct attack on Modi. He alleged that the BJP was the mastermind behind the moves of both Jagan and Pawan Kalyan and that Modi was trying to play the same game as in Tamil Nadu by pitting smaller parties against the TDP.

In the moves and counter-moves by TDP and YSRCP aimed at wooing the voters of Andhra Pradesh, Naidu seems to have outsmarted Jagan for the moment as his no-trust motion has gained more traction in Parliament.

In an attempt to target the BJP, Naidu also questioned the propriety of the Prime Minister in granting an appointment to Jaganmohan Reddy and his confidante Vijay Sai Reddy, who were accused 1 and 2 in graft cases.

Meanwhile, continuing his attacks on Naidu, Pawan Kalyan on Friday said that the TDP does not have the guts to fight against the BJP.

“The people with loopholes may be afraid to fight against the Centre, but I am not,” the film star told the media.


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