The way the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government at the Centre gave up his stubborn stand on the demands of Andhra Pradesh MPs and conceded many of them all of a sudden came as a big surprise.
After listening to the speech of finance minister Arun Jaitely in Rajya Sabha on the last day of the first phase of the budget session on Friday, everybody in the state lost hope on the Centre.
The television channels conducted big debates on the betrayal of the state by the BJP and everybody demanded that the Telugu Desam Party should come out of the NDA.
However, what happened in Delhi after the Rajya Sabha session was over came as a surprise.
Finance minister Arun Jaitely, railway minister Piyush Goyal and Bharatiya Janata Party national president Amit Shah had a lengthy discussion with Union minister of state for science and technology Y S Chowdary on the AP demands. The meeting went on till late in the night.
Finally, Jaitely agreed to concede majority of the demands of AP, including release of funds towards offsetting revenue deficit, sanction of funds through Nabard for Externally aided projects, setting up of railway zone, permission to set up port at any place in Nellore instead of Dugarajapatnam and regular release of funds to construct capital, besides commencement of process on Petro Crackers Complex and Vizag-Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor.
So, what made the BJP leadership to change its mind? According to sources, the Centre has received intelligence reports that a serious campaign has started in the social media against BJP across and length and breadth of the state and it has also spread to the neighbouring Karnataka state, where elections are due shortly.
If the people of Karnataka believe this campaign and they, too, feel that the BJP would make promises but would not implement them, it would turn out to be totally counterproductive for the party. So, the Centre had to some damage control by agreeing to the already approved demands.
It will not only appease the Andhra people, but also send positive signals to Karnataka people, party sources said.