In yet another blow to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday officially severed ties with the coalition government.
Here are the 12 developments:
1. Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said in the state assembly: “We have quit NDA. I took the decision, not for selfish reasons, but for interests of Andhra Pradesh.
“For the past 4 years, I made all efforts, I went to Delhi 29 times, asked many times for special status. This was Centre’s last budget and there was no mention of Andhra Pradesh. We had to pull our ministers out of cabinet. Had special status been granted, this situation would not have risen.”
2. Later in the day, in a Twitter post, N. Chandrababu Naidu made it public: “Telugu Desam Party has decided to officially exit the National Democratic Alliance due to failure in fulfilling the promises made in the State Reorganisation Act. This decision was taken unanimously, in a teleconference with Politburo members, today.”
3. The official announcement came days after two TDP ministers – P. Ashok Gajapati Raju and Y. S. Chowdary – resigned from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet on Mar 8 as a protest for not giving Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh.
4. Hours after N. Chandrababu Naidu and his politburo members decided to pull out from the NDA, TDP leader Thota Narasimham moved a no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha.
5. Thota Narasimham told reporters: “We always go by principals. Our leader (Chandrababu Naidu) told us that it would not be right if we move a no-confidence motion being part of the NDA. So we withdrew from NDA and then I issued a letter on no-confidence motion to the speaker at 9.30 am.”
6. However, the no-confience motion can only be accepted if it has the support of at least 50 parliamentarians.
7. Reacting to the development, BJP’s national spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao tweeted: “TDP’s decision to quit was inevitable after its mischievous propaganda against Centre. People of AP have now realised that the TDP is resorting to lies to cover up its inept & inert governance.Far from being a threat, TDP’s exit is a timely opportunity for the BJP to grow in AP.”
He said the BJP will come to power in Andhra Pradesh.
“Andhra will be the next Tripura for the BJP. TDP’s exit is a loss for the TDP, not the BJP. The slim victory of (1.7%) for the TDP-BJP combine in 2014 would have resulted in a third consecutive defeat for the TDP,” he posted on Twitter.
8. Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu alleged that the BJP is using TDP’s rival parties to create political instability in the state.
During a teleconference with TDP politburo members, Chandrababu Naidu, referring to YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), said there is a conspiracy being hatched between the main opposition in Andhra Pradesh and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
9. Pertinently, YSR Congress Party had moved a no-confidence motion against NDA a day earlier. TDP on Thursday (Mar 15) decided to back it. However, after Chandrababu Nadu’s “conspiracy theory”, his party has decided to withdraw support.
10. YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy tweeted: “After 4 years of relentless struggle and fight by YSRCP with people’s support for Special Category Status; finally the nation, including @ncbn’s TDP wakes up!
“Even if guided by political compulsion, TDP had to yet again follow YSRCP’s lead of moving no confidence motion against the Central Govt for not granting SCS to AP. Win for democracy & people of AP. YSRCP will continue to fight for SCS, the rights of the people of AP.”
Regarding the no-confidence motion, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said: “For YSRCP, interest of AP & its people is paramount, & above any political upmanship. Even if YSRCP moved the No Confidence Motion first, it’s immaterial whose No Confidence Motion is taken.What matters is that the rights of the people of AP is ensured and the state gets the SCS!”
11. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has welcomes TDP’s move and said it was a “correct” decision for a “better cause”.
12. Though TDP moved a no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, the BJP-led NDA still has a comfortable support of 315 members, of which 274 are its own. This is quite high above the current halfway mark of 270.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.