The Telugu Desam Party has finally called it quits from the National Democratic Alliance government in the Centre in protest against the latter’s decision not to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
TDP president and chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced the decision after a marathon meeting with his party MPs and ministers from Amaravati late in the evening.
The decision follows the announcement made by Union finance minister Arun Jaitely in Delhi categorically ruling out special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
“As a first step, our ministers in Narendra Modi cabinet P Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Y S Chowdary – will resign from their posts on Thursday morning. We shall decide about our alliance with the BJP at a later stage,” Naidu told media.
He said he tried to call the Prime Minister to inform him about the decision, as a matter of courtesy. But Modi was not available for the phone and the decision was conveyed to the PMO.
Naidu said Jaitely’s statement clearly indicated that the NDA government was not interested in resolving the crisis in Andhra Pradesh and coming to the rescue of the state which suffered a lot due to bifurcation.
“When the purpose of our joining the government is not served, we don’t have any option but to come out of it,” he said.
He pointed out that the TDP had never aspired for any posts or positions.
“Even when we had 35 MPs during the Vajpayee regime, we never joined the NDA,” he said.
The TDP is the second largest alliance partner of the BJP in the NDA, after Shiv Sena, which also announced recently that it would go it alone in the next general election.
The TDP and the BJP forged an alliance just before the 2014 general election.