On Wednesday night, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu announced that his two ministers at the Centre would tender their resignations because BJP has "betrayed" him by not giving special status to the state. Naidu spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over telephone on Thursday, and soon afterwards, both the TDP ministers at the Centre went to the PM's residence to hand over their resignation letters.
The political storm had been brewing since long. TDP MPs had been staging protests inside Parliament since the last four days demanding special status. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday made it clear that there was no provision in law to grant special status to any state. Only in the case of Northeastern states and the three hilly states, the Centre was providing 90 per cent share in all centrally-sponsored schemes. Jaitley said that the Centre was ready to give special assistance to Andhra Pradesh through a special purpose vehicle, but share in taxes cannot be enhanced.
We should understand two points from this development.
One, the BJP is slowly and surely spreading its wings in Andhra Pradesh, but it is still not in a position to contest elections on its own. The party had entered into an electoral alliance with Chandrababu Naidu in 2014, but now that YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy has emerged as a strong political force, BJP leaders have started talks with Reddy's party to forge an alliance for the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls scheduled next year.
Two, had the BJP come out of the alliance with TDP, it would have invited criticism. The demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh is an emotional issue, and Chandrababu Naidu is trying to project this as a big issue. Now that the Centre has refused to accept the demand, Naidu took it as the last straw and decided to part ways with BJP.
Watch the full episode here:
Aaj Ki Baat: Monday to Friday, 9 PM
India’s Number One and the most followed Super Prime Time News Show ‘Aaj Ki Baat – Rajat Sharma Ke Saath’ was launched just before the 2014 General Elections. Since its inception the show is redefining India’s super prime time and is numerically far ahead of its contemporaries.