The Telugu Desam Party on Sunday said it will not break its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, hours after a meeting with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu in Amravati, PTI quoted Union minister and TDP leader, YS Chowdary, as saying.
The Telugu Desam Party, the BJP’s only ally in the south, is disappointed with how little was allotted to the state in the Union Budget.
“We are not happy with the BJP Budget, we are not happy with what was allotted to Andhra Pradesh,” TDP MP P Ravindra Babu told ANI before the meeting. “Our chief minister will decide about the alliance and we will follow him.”
However, TDP chief Naidu has asked his MPs to protests against the Union Budget in Parliament. “Even at the risk of being suspended and thrown out of Parliament, protest and make yourself and the people of Andhra Pradesh who feel let down be heard loud and clear,” Naidu told his party leaders at the meeting, The Indian Express reported.
TDP’s special representative in New Delhi and central committee member, Kambampati Rammohan Rao, said it was decided in the meeting that matters such as bridging revenue deficit, funding for the Polavaram project and additional funding for capital city of Amravati must be focused.
“The chief minister said he is committed to maintaining the coalition dharma but now the protests for justice for Andhra Pradesh should be out in the open rather than just sending requests and appeals,” Rao told the newspaper. On Tuesday, TDP legislators will hold placards and protest in Parliament against the Centre, he added.
Naidu had called the meeting after several TDP leaders spoke out against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget on Thursday. A day after the Budget was presented, TDP parliamentarian TG Venkatesh had said, “We are going to declare war”. YS Chowdary, another party leader and minister of state for science and technology, said the “people and the party” were disappointed with the Budget.
BJP National President Amit Shah is believed to have called Chief Minister Naidu and asked him to not make any tough decisions, NDTV reported, quoting sources. However, Chowdary told reporters on Sunday that there had been no communication between the BJP president and Naidu.
Earlier, the BJP’s National General Secretary Ram Madhav had said that the party will resolve the matter with TDP leaders, ANI reported. “There seems to be some kind of unhappiness, we will talk it out,” he said. Calling the TDP “an old ally”, he said the BJP is “committed to the interests of Andhra Pradesh”.
The Telugu Desam Party is part of the National Democratic Alliance at the Centre, but ties have been souring since the government rejected its demand to give Andhra Pradesh 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 the triple talaq bill in the Winter Session of Parliament.