‘Break NDA bond option’ is on the table, says TDP
TDP leader Vara Prasada said that the strain in its relationship with BJP was building for quite a long time. Absence of special package for Andhra Pradesh in Budget 2018 only added fuel to the fire
Sharpening its attack on the Modi government, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has accused the BJP of not following coalition dharma. Reiterating its stand on possibly bringing ‘no-confidence' motion against its own alliance partner in Parliament, a senior functionary of the party indicated that TDP is also mulling over other options, such as quitting the NDA alliance.
“Break the bond option is on the table. However, the final call would be taken by party leader Chandrababu Naidu. Before that we will consult all stake holders including members of the civil society,” said TDP spokesperson Vara Prasada.
Speaking to National Herald Prasad from Amravati over the phone, Prasada said, ''Our leader and chief minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu will call on civil society groups first, then he will try to build consensus among all political parties [in Andhra Pradesh] including YSR Congress, Congress and Jana Sena on the issue. Before bringing a no-confidence motion in Parliament, our strategy is to mount pressure on the Modi government through media and public opinion.''
''We were part of the NDA government in the time of Atal Bihari Vajpayee also, but that was a different time altogether. Vajpayee ji had listened to the allies and followed coalition dharma while Modi government takes arbitrary decision. It does not pay any heed to the demands or the concerns shown by the allies,'' alleged Prasada.
When asked about what triggered the TDP’s anger, Prasada said that strain in the relationship was building for quite a long time but neglecting the demands to allocate special package for Andhra Pradesh in the union budget added fuel to the fire.
''In the last four years, none of our demands were met by the Modi government, whether it is solving water dispute with Telangana, completing the Polavaram project on Godavari River or creating a separate railway zone for Visakhapatnam… everything was put on hold by the central government,'' said Prasada, while adding that his party would continue to fight for the rights of 4.90 crore Telugu people.
He alleged that Modi government has been non-committal in the implementation of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation act also.
‘’We were part of the NDA government in the time of Atal Bihari Vajpayee also, but that was a different time altogether. Vajpayee ji had listened to the allies and followed coalition dharma while Modi government takes arbitrary decision. It does not pay any heed to the demands or the concerns shown by the allies,’’ said TDP spokesperson Vara Prasada
An analyst who had seen Telugu politics from close quarters said on the condition of anonymity that the strained relationship between TDP and the BJP has more to do with electoral politics and wish to have greater share in the construction business in Amravati.
It is important to mention that Andhra Pradesh unit of the BJP has already cautioned central leadership about the possible break up. According to credible sources, going a step further, state unit of the BJP even suggested to snap the ties with TDP before the latter does so.
There others who think that the continuous high pitch on Hindutva politics by BJP also caused strain in the relationship. According to 2011 census, Muslims constitutes 8.53% of the total population in Andhra Pradesh. ''TDP would not like to lose Muslim votes to the YSR Congress in coming elections.'' said a Hyderabad-based observer. “So, Naidu’s hint to break the alliance must be taken seriously. Apart from political posturing and bargaining, recent developments must be seen in the context of electoral ambitions,” he said.