It is now loud and clear that Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu does not want special category status to the state, even if the Centre changes its mind and grants the same.
Obviously, he feels the special package would fetch him more than the special category status.
It was evident from the way Naidu asked his party MPs to abstain from Rajya Sabha when it took up a short discussion on special category status.
The TDP MPs conveniently skipped the debate which has pushed the NDA government to a corner.
The mysterious absence of the TDP members from Rajya Sabha raised a lot of talk in the corridors of Parliament.
Glaringly, it has exposed Naidu’s blatant lies that he was relentlessly continuing his efforts to secure the Special Status to the State as promised during the passage of the Bill in parliament for bifurcation of then united Andhra Pradesh.
Congress member KVP Ramchander Rao raised the issue through a calling attention motion and insisted that the Special Status should be bestowed on AP as promised during the passage of the AP Reorganization Bill 2014.
He refuted the claim of the present BJP-led NDA Government at the centre that the 14th Finance Commission has objected to granting of special status to AP.
As expected, Union Minister for State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh categorically stated that since the Centre announced substantial special financial assistance to AP, the question of according a specual status to the status does not arise.
He pointed out that in the past 11 states were accorded special status. Uttarakhand was the last state to be bestowed with such a status and after that no other state was granted the same, he pointed out.
The minister further had a dig at the Congress members by wondering why the members had not ensured that the promise of special status promised to the stat was not made into an Act. This triggered off loud protests from the Congress members who staged a walk out from the House at the minister's reply.
Even the YSRCP member staged a walk out protesting at the refusal of the minister to accord special status to AP.
Since TDP and BJP are allies both at the Centre and state by sharing power, Naidu would not like to antagonize the central leadership. This is mainly because of his future plans for the 2019 elections when he has set his eyes on the Chief Minister's chair. This despite the fact that the BJP is leaving no stone unturned to build its base and strengthen its cadre in both the telugu states also with an eye on the 2019 elections
However, with the TDP members’ absence in Rajya Sabha, Chandrababu Naidu's true colours have come to the fore and he seemed to have forfeited the confidence and trust of the people.