AMARAVATI/NEW DELHI, Mar 16:
Ending its four-year-old alliance with the BJP, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) today pulled out of the NDA over the Centre’s refusal to grant Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh and simultaneously moved a no-trust motion in Parliament.
TDP president and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu made the announcement to exit the BJP-led alliance in Amaravati, eight days after two of its Union Ministers–P Ashok Gajapati Raju and Y S Chowdary– quit on March 8 following a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The YSR Congress–a regional party in AP– also moved a no-confidence motion against the Modi Government.
The BJP termed TDP’s decision as “inevitable”. Click here to watch video
Naidu later told reporters he was fighting a “dharma yuddh” (righteous war) to secure the State’s ‘legitimate’ rights and claimed that parties at the national level were backing the TDP’s no-confidence motion due to his party’s credibility.
Naidu also came down heavily on the Prime Minister saying that Modi did not even bother to invite the TDP MPs for a discussion when they were agitating in Parliament for the State’s rights.
He said Modi showed a lot of concern for Andhra Pradesh on the eve of 2014 elections and promised many things, including building the State’s new capital better than New Delhi.
The Chief Minister wanted to know what happened to all those promises.
“We joined the NDA in the first place only to protect our State’s interests in the aftermath of bifurcation. We waited for four years with the hope that the Centre will honour all the promises but it only meted out injustice to us,” Naidu said.
However, the BJP never cared about TDP, he charged adding while in the opposition, it promised to take care of the State and its needs but once in power, “it completely ignored us.”
The Centre on its part said it has been waiting endlessly for a response from Andhra Pradesh to resolve the special package issue.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre has always been willing to give a special package to Andhra Pradesh equivalent to a Special Category Status. He also said the Centre had agreed to the mode suggested by the State for receiving special package funds but it did not revert with details.
The notices for the no-confidence motion that were moved for the first time since the Modi Government assumed office in May 2014 were not taken up as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said there was no order in the House and adjourned the proceedings for the day amid vociferous protests over various issues. The no-confidence notices were moved by TDP’s Thota Narasimham. YSR Congress member Y V Subba Reddy.
The TDP politburo unanimously took the decision to end the alliance during a tele-conference with Naidu this morning.
The party politburo meeting to decide over quitting the National Democratic Alliance(NDA) was planned for this evening, but the formality was completed during the daily tele-conference Naidu holds with party leaders in the morning.
The Union Government exuded confidence that it has the numbers in the Lok Sabha to defeat the no-trust motion
The BJP, which claimed that the TDP exit provided an opportunity for it to grow in the State, faces the prospect of going it alone in the elections in Andhra Pradesh next year with the two main regional parties — TDP and YSR Congress — arrayed gainst it.
The TDP had yesterday offered to back the YSR Congress’ no-confidence motion but said it withdrew the support as it smelt a nexus between it and the BJP.
“We go according to principles. Our leader felt being part of NDA and moving a no-confidence motion would not be ethical. So we withdrew from the NDA and I have issued a letter on no-confidence motion to the speaker at 9.30 am,” Thota Narasimham, the TDP’s floor leader in the Lok Sabha, told reporters in Delhi.
His party colleague Ramesh claimed that YSR Congress MP Vijaysai Reddy was seen making attempts to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and this, he said, hinted at a nexus between both parties.
“If it is not taken due to lack of time today, on Monday we will get signatures from 54 MPs from various other parties and push for a no-confidence motion vigorously,” Ramesh said.
The motion can be accepted only if it has the support of at least 50 members in the House. While the TDP has 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha, the YSR Congress has nine.
Congress and Left leaders said they would support the motion against the Government.
As the opposition counted its numbers, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the whole country has full confidence in the Prime Minister as does the House.
“The Government has the numbers… We are ready to take up everything,” he said.
With the BJP alone having 274 members in the 536-member Lok Sabha and enjoying support of allies, the no-confidence motion, if accepted, is likely to be defeated but it has the potential to put the saffron party in a tight corner in the State.
Meanwhile, the proceedings in Parliament were washed out for the second consecutive weeks today due to protests by opposition parties, which also led to the failure of the Lok Sabha to take up notices for no-confidence motion against the NDA Government moved by parties from Andhra Pradesh.
While the Lok Sabha proceedings were first adjourned till noon and then for the day, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned straight till 2.30 PM and later for the day with Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu expressing anguish over the proceedings being paralysed ever since Parliament resumed its budget session on March 5 after a recess.
In the Lok Sabha, the notices for the no-confidence motion, moved for the first time since the nearly four-year rule of the BJP-led alliance, were not taken up as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who said there was no order in the House and adjourned the proceedings for the day amid vociferous protests over various issues.
The Lok Sabha proceedings were washed out for the 10th consecutive day following incessant protests and sloganeering by various parties, including TDP, YSR Congress, AIADMK and RJD over multiple issues, including special status for Andhra Pradesh and banking scam. Congress members were also seen standing at their seats.
Soon after papers and reports were laid during the Zero Hour, Mahajan said she has received a notice for no-confidence motion.
“I am duty-bound to bring it… Provided the House is in order,” she said amid the din.
“I request all of you to go back to your seats,” Mahajan told the members protesting in the Well.
However as the members continued with the protests, the Speaker said since the House is not in order, she was unable to take up the notice and then adjourned the proceedings for the day.
Members from TRS and AIADMK were in the Well holding placards and shouting slogans. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal made a statement regarding the government business to be taken up in the House next week.
Soon after the House assembled at 11 AM and was to take up the Question Hour, the proceedings were adjourned till noon due to the noisy scenes. (PTI)