New Delhi/Amaravati, March 16: In a major setback to the BJP, the TDP on Friday quit the NDA and tabled a no-confidence motion against the Modi government over its refusal to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh, a move that may herald a new political alignment before the next year Lok Sabha polls. The TDP with 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha — the second biggest ally of the BJP after the Shiv Se (18) — announced the decision to exit from the NDA after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu idu held a politburo meeting through teleconferencing with his MPs in Delhi.
The Modi government, however, said it had the numbers in Parliament to defeat the motion. On a rough count, the ruling NDA — minus TDP — appears to have the support of 315 members in a House with an effective strength of 538. On its own, the BJP has 274 members — well above the halfway mark to prove its majority. The TDP decision — two days after the BJP lost both the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh and one in Bihar — came as a game of one upmanship went on with its rival in Andhra, the YSRCP, which has also tabled a similar motion in the Lok Sabha. On March 8, the TDP had pulled out its two Ministers — Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Y.S. Chowdary — from the Modi government. The TDP is the first party to leave the coalition since it came to power at the Centre in 2014. TDP’s Thota rasimham and and Y.V. Subba Reddy of the YSR Congress tabled the no-confidence motions with the Lok Sabha Secretary General, drawing instant support from opposition parties like the Trimool, CPI-M and AIMIM.
The Congress and the AIADMK didn’t make it clear whether they would support the motion. But the Congress said it has always supported the demand for special category status for Andhra Pradesh, an issue on which the TDP quit the NDA. idu told the Andhra Assembly that the TDP’s withdrawal from the NDA was not taken for selfish reasons but in the interest of the state on which injustice has been committed by the BJP. He asked his partymen to be one in facing the BJP challenge.
The TDP had been expressing its unhappiness with the BJP over the last few weeks for not fulfilling the commitments made by the Centre to Andhra Pradesh after Telanga was carved out of it in 2014. Its main demand was special status which would have ensured a large infusion of central funds to help the state tide over the revenue deficit and facilitate development of new state capital Amaravati. Thota rasimham of TDP submitted notices of no-confidence motion to the Lok Sabha Speaker.
The TDP and YSRCP attempted to rake up the issue in the Lok Sabha, telling Speaker Sumitra Mahajan that they want to move the motion. But the Speaker rejected it, saying she was duty bound to bring the notice to the House but it can’t be done when the House was not in order due to disruptions. CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said his party “supports the no-confidence motion brought against the BJP government” because its betrayal of the promise of special status for Andhra Pradesh is “inexcuseable”. (IANS)