Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday said the Telugu Desam Party has asked its legislators to resign from the Union Cabinet. The Bharatiya Janata Party has failed to reach out to the TDP on the special category status issue, the chief minister said, adding that the party will take a decision on the alliance soon.
The chief minister said he had consulted with his party’s legislators before making his statement. “I have asked my party legislators to resign from the Union Cabinet tomorrow,” News18 quoted Naidu as saying. “For four years, I did not raise any demand, hoping that being an ally, the BJP will honour the promises made in its manifesto as well and implement the [Andhra Pradesh] Reorganisation Act in letter and spirit.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre could not give Andhra Pradesh special category status as the provision no longer exists. The Centre is, however, committed to give the state funds equivalent to what it would have got with the special category status, Jaitley said.
“We laid out our demands to the Centre,” Naidu said. “Our requests fell on deaf ears. We are deeply hurt by Jaitley’s statement on the special category status.” The chief minister said Andhra Pradesh has incurred major losses as a state. “We never asked for bifurcation,” Naidu said while commenting on the state’s split for the creation of Telangana.
The chief minister also criticised the Congress for not supporting the state’s demands.
On Tuesday, Telugu Desam Party legislators voted in favour of ending the party’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party for refusing to financially help Andhra Pradesh. Ties between the two parties have become increasingly strained over the lack of allocation of funds to the state in the Union Budget.
TDP legislators demanding special status for the state have disrupted proceedings in Parliament for the last two days. On Tuesday, the TDP and the YSR Congress held a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. At the event, Congress President Rahul Gandhi promised to grant the state special status if his party was voted to power in the 2019 General Elections.