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Special status to Andhra Pradesh: 'Deeply hurt' Chandrababu Naidu directs TDP's two central ministers to quit, says PM Modi 'unavailable' to take his call

The decision came hours after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Centre can't offer special status to Andhra Pradesh, but would offer a special package with equivalent funding.

Reported by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: March 07, 2018 23:29 IST ]
Image Source : PTI File picture

Unhappy over Centre's response on special status to Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday asked his party's two central ministers to resign amid the growing strain in ties between his TDP and the BJP over alleged neglect of the state in the Union budget. 

On Naidu's direction, both  Ashok Gajapathi Raju and YS Chowdary are expected to tender their resignations tomorrow. 

The Telugu Desam Party chief said he tried to speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a "courtesy" to inform him about the decision to quit but he did not come on line. 

"As a courtesy & being a responsible senior politician, I tried reaching out to Prime Minister to inform about our decision. He was unavailable," Naidu said.

He said his party would come out of the NDA but party-to-party issue (of ties with the BJP) will be decided later. 

Addressing reporters at an emergency meeting, Naidu said,"This is the first step. We will go ahead with other actions later." 

"We have been raising the matter since the day of budget. But Central Government did not respond," he added.

Naidu also said, "we have shown patience for 4 years. I tried to convince the Centre by all means."

"Arun Jaitley's statement was the last straw. They are apparently predetermined. They don't appear to help the state," he said. 

The decision came hours after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Centre can't offer special status to Andhra Pradesh, but would offer a special package with equivalent funding.

Also read | Special category status doesn't exist now, Govt stands by its promises of 90% central fund: Jaitley on TDP's special status demand for Andhra

In a bid to pacify the sulking TDP, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley promised Andhra Pradesh funds equivalent to what a special category state receives but drew a line saying politics cannot increase the quantum of money. 

Jaitley had also said that his government was committed to meeting all promises made to Andhra Pradesh at the time of carving out of Telengana four years back. 

But giving special category status, as demanded by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, to any state apart from those in the North East and three hilly provinces is not constitutionally possible after the implementation of the 14th Finance Commission recommendation, Jaitley had said at a press conference earlier today. 

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