Cracks in TDP-BJP alliance deepen after Budget 2018: Chandrababu Naidu calls party meet over ties

Disappointed with the BJP over the lack of allocation of funds to Andhra Pradesh in the Union Budget 2018-19, TDP is reconsidering its alliance with the saffron party and has called for an emergency meeting on Sunday in Amaravati, according to several media reports.

On Thursday, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had voiced his displeasure over the "raw deal" meted out to the state to fulfil the commitments made in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.

The Indian Express reported that the TDP chief might also hold a meeting soon, possibly this Sunday or in the coming week to review the party's alliance with BJP.

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu. PTI

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu. PTI

According to the The Times of India, he also held a teleconference with party leaders and TDP MPs in Delhi on Friday over its ties with BJP."The allocations are very dissatisfactory and it is for BJP to explain how it will address this. In the meantime, we will take the message to the people as to how Andhra Pradesh was completely ignored in the budget," the report quoted Naidu as saying at the meeting.

There is a "strong mood" among TDP leaders to break away from the alliance with the BJP, PTI quoted sources as saying.

There was no formal communication about what transpired at the meeting, but some senior TDP leaders said off the record that almost everyone, including many district unit chiefs, wanted the TDP to end the alliance with the BJP after the budget "ignored" the state.

The party sources said that Naidu apparently dissuaded his senior party colleagues from speaking about the fate of the alliance with BJP and dwelt on the Rajasthan bypoll results where the BJP tasted defeat.

The TDP sources said that, according to Naidu, the bypoll results are a clear example that people will be unsparing if governance is not good.

Naidu also reportedly 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 the meeting.

"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.

Some ministers and senior leaders present at the meeting said Naidu told them that all important issues would be discussed in detail at the meeting with TDP MPs on Sunday.

After the Thursday meeting, Cabinet minister S Chandramohan Reddy had told reporters they will convey their dissatisfaction to the Centre and the party leaders authorised the Andhra Pradesh chief minister to take an appropriate decision.

He had said the TDP had been waiting for four years for the BJP to help the state come out of the difficult situation created by its division.

Party leader and Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y Sujana Chowdhary had said that the budget has let down the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Stating that there will be no compromise on the state's interests, he said the future course of action would be decided by Naidu. TDP MP Rammohan Naidu said they were even ready to resign for the sake of the state.

Miffed with its alliance partner over the budget, TDP MP TG Venkatesh even declared "war" on BJP on Friday.

In January, the TDP chief had called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to request him to take steps to fulfil the commitments made to the state at the time of state's bifurcation.

He had demanded that the Centre do the handholding to help the state overcome revenue deficit and ensure level playing field at par with other states.

With inputs from IANS

Updated Date: Feb 02, 2018 18:53 PM

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