India’s TDP exits BJP-led National Democratic Alliance

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Indian prime minister Narendra Modi (L) looks on during a visit to a craft centre in Varanasi on 12 March 2018. AFP

Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday pulled out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and was set to move a no-confidence motion against the government of India over its refusal to grant special category status to the state, party leaders said.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi (L) looks on during a visit to a craft centre in Varanasi on 12 March 2018. AFP

TDP Rajya Sabha MP YS Chowdary told IANS: “Yes our party (TDP) has pulled out of the alliance with the NDA.”

Chief minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu took these decisions during a teleconference with politburo members, senior party leaders and MPs on Friday.

Immediately after the decision, TDP, which has 16 members in the Lok Sabha, submitted a notice to the Speaker to move the no-confidence motion.

Party MP Thota Narasimham told reporters that they were collecting signatures of 54 MPs, which is required to move the no-trust motion.

On 8 March, the TDP had pulled its two ministers-Ashok Gajapathi Raju and YS Chowdary-out of the Narendra Modi government but had stopped short of walking out of the alliance.

Raju held the civil aviation ministry while Chowdary was the Minister of State for Science and Technology.

The TDP is the first party to leave the coalition since it came to power at the Centre in 2014.

Naidu decided to write a letter to Bharatiya Janata Party national president Amit Shah, informing him of the circumstances which forced TDP to exit the NDA.

The TDP president told the politburo members that he would also write to other constituents of the NDA to explain why he joined the front four years ago and what made the party to pull out.

Naidu had said on Thursday that the TDP was ready to support a no-confidence motion moved by any party.

However, during the teleconference on Friday Naidu said that the party should move a motion on its own instead of supporting the one being moved by their rival YSR Congress Party.

The TDP chief said if the TDP backs the no-confidence motion moved by a party whose leader is facing serious charges this would send a wrong signal to the people.

Naidu told politburo members that the TDP would seek support of other parties for the no-confidence motion.

The TDP leaders alleged that YSR Congress was not sincere in the no-confidence motion as its notice had signatures of only five MPs.

During the teleconference, Naidu lashed out at the BJP and accused it of using YSR Congress leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy and Jana Sena party President Pawan Kalyan to weaken the TDP.

He said both Jagan and Pawan had secret understanding with the BJP. He said while Jagan entered into the secret deal to save himself in several corruption cases, Pawan was targeting TDP instead of pulling up BJP and Narendra Modi for not fulfilling the commitments made to Andhra Pradesh.

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 Telangana 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.

AFP

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