Miffed over low budget allocation for Andhra Pradesh, BJP's biggest ally in the South Telugu Desam Party held an emergency meeting in Vijayawada today. According to reports, Chandrababu Naidu-led party is on the verge of severing ties with BJP.
After the TDP Parliamentary Board meeting, Andhra Minister YS Chowdary confirmed that the Union Budget 2018 and no allocations to Andhra Pradesh were on the agenda. "TDP will not to break alliance with BJP-led NDA," he told PTI.
Chowdary said that the party was not happy about the budget allocation or lack of it. "We will continue pressurising the Centre for it. We will also raise the matter in the Parliament if it is needed," he added.
Naidu's close aide further denied reports that the Andhra CM has had any conversation with Shiv Sena, another BJP ally to have recently parted way, neither did he speak to Amit Shah. "CM N Chandrababu Naidu did not speak to Shiv Sena. There has been no communication between Amit Shah and the CM either," Chowdary said.
To placate its long-standing partner, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav on Saturday said that the party and the Centre would soon be extending the olive branch to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister to resolve his concerns in a mutually beneficial to both parties.
Responding to Naidu's expression of disappointment over the Union Budget proposals for 2018-19 not addressing the needs of Andhra Pradesh, Madhav said, "There seems to be some kind of unhappiness, we will talk it out. TDP is an old ally of the BJP. We will talk it out with them and will tell them we are committed to the interests of Andhra Pradesh."
Madhav further said, "We at the BJP are committed not only to address the TDP's concerns with regard to the Budget proposals, but also, all other issues of concern that it may have. We will convince Mr Naidu and the TDP not to think of severing their ties with the BJP or the NDA. They are a valuable ally."
After the budget, Naidu had expressed “serious displeasure” over the Union budget and wondered why the Centre ignored the state. “Bengaluru, Mumbai and Ahmedabad got a substantial allocation for various projects but none of our projects, including the Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam Metro rail, got anything,” one of the sources quoted Naidu as saying at a party meeting on Thursday.
“At the time of the state bifurcation, I was the only one who demanded equal treatment to both the states. Though gross injustice was done to Andhra on account of bifurcation, I aligned with the BJP only because having good relations with the Centre could undo the injustice,” Naidu apparently told the TDP leaders.
An upset TDP pitched its senior leader Chowdhary to tell the media in no uncertain terms that it was unhappy over no monetary allocation for Andhra Pradesh. Chowdhary had on Thursday warned that the TDP had three options before it, namely, (1) either try and continue the alliance (2) make their MPs resign and (3) simply terminate the association with the BJP and the NDA.
He said that the TDP executive would in all probability meet on Sunday to take a final decision on the matter.
The BJP is facing crisis in ties with TDP only days after shortly after Shiv Sena parted ways after a long partnership and a loss in Rajasthan bypolls.