‘We will declare war’: Andhra Pradesh government unhappy with Budget, may rethink alliance with BJP
Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has called a meeting of his Telugu Desam Party leaders on February 4.
Andhra Pradesh’s Telugu Desam Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s biggest ally in the south, is disappointed with how little was allotted to the state in the Union Budget, PTI reported. Telugu Desam Party chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu (pictured above) has called for a party meeting in Amaravati on Sunday to discuss the next course of action, party leaders said.
Soon after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the Budget, Telugu Desam Party parliamentarian TG Venkatesh said in Delhi, “We are going to declare war,” ANI reported. “We have three options. The first is to try and continue [the alliance], the second is to have our MPs resign and the third is to break the alliance,” said Venkatesh, adding that a final decision will be made at the meeting with Naidu.
Union minister and party leader YS Chowdhary said the “people and the party” were disappointed with the Budget. “Many state issues such as a Railway Zone, funding for the Polavaram project and the capital Amaravati were not even addressed,” he said.
Chowdhary said several pending infrastructure projects have made no progress over the past four years. “The government promised a metro line in Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada but made no mention of it in the Budget,” he said. “We are in the alliance and will fight for our share.”
Another Telugu Desam Party lawmaker Ram Mohan Naidu said the chief minister had visited many central leaders several times, but “not once did Jaitley mention his name during the Budget speech”.
The Telugu Desam Party is part of the National Democratic Alliance at the Centre, but ties have been souring as the Centre rejected its demand to give Andhra Special Category Status after its bifurcation in 2014. The party had supported the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha – where the BJP does not have a majority – during discussions on triple talaq bill in the Winter Session of Parliament.