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Andhra Pradesh special status: As TDP quits Modi government; BJP says it can emerge as third force in state

Party spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said the BJP sees the resignations of two TDP ministers as an inevitable outcome driven by the regional party's "political compulsions" ahead of the assembly polls in the state next year.

Edited by: India TV Politics Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: March 08, 2018 23:18 IST ]
TDP leaders YS Chowdary and Ashok Gajapathi Raju after
TDP leaders YS Chowdary and Ashok Gajapathi Raju after addressing a press at the former's residence in New Delhi on Thursday.

In the backdrop of two TDP ministers resigning from the Union Cabinet over special status issue to Andhra Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today said that it has “potential to emerge as a third viable alternative” in the southern state.

Party spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said the BJP sees the resignations of two TDP ministers as an inevitable outcome driven by the regional party's "political compulsions" ahead of the assembly polls in the state next year. The assembly polls in the state will be held along with the Lok Sabha election. 

"The BJP has potential to emerge as a third viable alternative in Andhra Pradesh and our track records in different states testify to this. We will continue to work for the people there to become a significant political force," its 

Andhra Pradesh BJP chief K Hari Babu said political one-upmanship has been going on in the state -- an apparent reference to the war of words between TDP and its main rival YSY Congress -- over the special category status, and said the ministers' resignations were more of a political ploy ahead of next year's assembly polls. 

The leaders said that party is not much worried over the prospect of fighting the elections without an ally. 

The BJP has two Lok Sabha members from the state with 25 seats.

As of now, the TDP remains a part of the NDA even after its decision to pull its ministers out of the government. 

BJP sources said even if their party has to fight alone, it can only grow in a state where it has always had a marginal presence. 

They also added that while the TDP remains a part of the NDA, the YSR Congress has also been friendly to the government in Parliament, which gives the BJP a unique political space as its main national rival, the Congress, remains a pariah for the two regional parties. 

With the Centre slamming the door shut on Naidu's demand for special category status, he was left with little option but to escalate the matter as YSR Congress's chief Jaganmohan Reddy has been attacking him over the issue, the sources said. 

"It was his political compulsion," they said. 

The fact that the TDP has decided to remain a part of the NDA shows that the party is hedging its bets given the BJP's growing political clout at the national level ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls, they said. 

TDP ministers quit, to remain in NDA 

Earlier this evening, Ashok Gajapathi Raju and YS Chowdary, two TDP ministers in the BJP-led NDA government, submitted their resignations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Raju later told reporters that his party will continue to part of the ruling alliance. 

Their resignations came a day after TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced that the party's ministers will quit the central government in protest against its refusal to grant special category status to the state. 

Chowdary said the issue of special category status was very emotive for the state but the Centre did not address it and added that even the special package was not adequate. He, however, said it would be unfair to say that the Centre did nothing for the state. 

Naidu had earlier in the day had a telephonic conversation with PM Modi.

With Agency Inputs 

Watch video: Two TDP ministers quit Modi govt 

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