Miffed at the Centre’s reluctance to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam has decided to quit the NDA Cabinet. TDP’s national president N. Chandrababu Naidu directed the two Union ministers from the party to submit their resignations.
The two TDP ministers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Minister of State for Science and Technology YS Chowdary, are expected to resign later in the day.
Naidu pointed out that from the Union minister Arun Jaitley’s media briefing over the special status issue when he stated that “sentiments” cannot define the quantum of funds the state receives from the Centre, it seems as if the NDA has predetermined the outcome of AP’s demands “and hence we have decided to quit from the NDA Cabinet”.
Further , Naidu remarked that FM Jaitley’s words were “hurtful and insulting,” alleging that they suggested that the TDP was “asking for money at thee expense of the country’s Defence Budget… Jaitley spoke like we asked for all the money. We felt insulted.”
Naidu addressed a media conference later on. He said he had tried to convey the party’s decision to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the Prime Minister was not available. The decision has been conveyed to the PM’s officer on special duty.
This is not the bifurcation we asked for, Naidu said. He called the division of the state most unscientific and recalled that as a party in Opposition then, the BJP had also called the division irrational and demanded special status for the rump state of Andhra Pradesh.
However, the party-to-party alliance will continue as of now, Naidu said. “Our rights are first and all the rest is secondary,” he observed.