Hyderabad: With the YSR Congress party giving notice of no trust motion in Lok Sabha against the Narendra Modi government and Jana Sena founder and film star Pawan Kalyan launching a strident attack against N Chandrababu Naidu, the political drama in Andhra Pradesh seems to be fast heading towards a climax.
Chief Minister and Telugu Desam President N Chandrababu Naidu, caught in the middle, has convened the party’s politburo meeting on Friday evening in Amarvati to take a final decision on the TDP-BJP alliance. Party sources said that with Naidu reaching a conclusion that the BJP was colluding with YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy and Pawan Kalyan to weaken Telugu Desam there was no need for the party to remain in NDA. “The party will take a decision to part ways with the NDA tomorrow”, a senior party leader told this correspondent.
This comes almost a week after the TDP withdrew its two ministers from the Modi government in protest against the Centre’s refusal to grant Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh. In retaliation the BJP has also made its two ministers resign from Naidu cabinet in the state.
Naidu’s last hopes of change of heart on the part of Modi government were dashed on Wednesday when the Finance Bill was approved in Parliament without any discussions and all the amendments moved by the TDP were rejected.
Apart from refusing to give SCS to the state, the Centre has categorically rejected the demand for formation of a Railway Zone in Visakhapatnam. Railway Minister Piyush Goel even refused to meet the TDP delegation further angering the party.
Taken aback by the aggressive tirade of Pawan Kalyan in a public meeting in Guntur last evening, Naidu held a crucial meeting with the ministers and senior party leaders to elicit their opinion on the next course of action of the party. He also held a tele conference with the party MPs in New Delhi. The majority opinion was in favour of severing relations with the BJP and walking out of the NDA, sources said.
On YSR Congress’ no confidence motion, TDP leaders advised Naidu that they should support the motion irrespective of who moves it. TDP will utilise the debate on no trust motion to expose the nexus between the BJP and Jaganmohan Reddy, who was an accused in 11 criminal cases, party sources said.
The feelings in Telugu Desam were hardened with the party leaders convinced there was a deeper conspiracy and collusion among BJP, YSR Congress and Pawan Kalyan to corner the TDP. “The BJP is using Jagan and Pawan Kalyan against us”, Naidu told party leaders.
Pawan Kalyan’s corruption charges against Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh were being seen as part of strategy to mount pressure on Chandrababu Naidu and target him in the days to come.
“We are fighting for self respect, the rights of Telugu people and the implementation of commitments made to Andhra Pradesh. Instead of honouring them Narendra Modi and BJP are now indulging in collusion politics”, Naidu said. It is first time that Naidu was directly hitting out at the Prime Minister.
Naidu told the meeting that BJP was trying to play the same game which it played in Tamil Nadu by pitting O Pannerselvam group against the Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.
Pointing out at the defeat of the BJP in three Lok Sabha by-elections in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar yesterday Naidu told his party leaders that the tide was turning against Modi and the BJP and the TDP can fight against them on their own. “With people’s support we can face this challenge,” Naidu said.
Meanwhile Pawan Kalyan’s outburst against Naidu and Nara Lokesh has come as a shock for the TDP which was hoping for an alliance with the actor’s nascent party in 2019.
Addressing the public meeting to mark the 4th anniversary of the formation of his party Pawan Kalyan held Naidu responsible for the deep-rooted corruption in the state as well as for failure in securing the rights of the state.
He also attacked the Centre for not granting SCS and said that he can go on an indefinite huger strike any time to involve the people in the fight for the interests of the state.