News Analysis Andhra Pradesh

TDP serious, but may not snap ties with BJP

The non-committal stance of the BJP on according Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh is an irksome disappointment to the alliance partner, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which has immense pressure back home on the expected central support for SCS and finances.

Yet, the TDP may not go to the extent of snapping ties on the issue owing to the vulnerabilities and compulsions intertwined with the bifurcation-related issues.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s reply on the SCS in the Rajya Sabha on Friday did not go down well with the TDP leadership.

In a serious and never-before-response to the episode in the Rajya Sabha, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu pointed out, “Jaitley linking SCS to the 14{+t}{+h}Finance Commission is really painful. What has BJP done for us so far? I kept quiet so far expecting them to help the ailing State. I’m not dependent on them. I’m just working hard for my State.”

The Chief Minister also questioned the logic of the Centre on the snail’s pace of fulfilling promises on financial support for capital Amaravati, which was touted to be a world-class one, and the Polavaram irrigation project, which has been declared as a national project.

The same was questioned in the Rajya Sabha by TDP MP C.M. Ramesh and Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y.S. Chowdary. They wanted a white paper on the allocations made to A.P. and a deadline for fulfilling the promises.

The TDP has called for a meeting of MPs on Sunday to devise a strategy to get the bifurcation promises realised through Parliament.

Commenting on the likely stand, TDP MP Kesineni Srinivas (Nani) has even said that stalling Parliament and mass resignations are not ruled out for the sake of the welfare of the State.

Sacrificing two Union Ministries is not so difficult, he said.

For the record, the TDP is sharing power at the Centre with the BJP through two MPs — Mr. Chowdary and P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Minister for Civil Aviation.

What makes TDP

stick to BJP?

Irrespective of the Centre’s decision on the SCS and finances to A.P., a host of aspects makes TDP maintain status quo as far as the alliance partnership with the BJP is concerned.

Chief among them is that the BJP is in a majority and not dependent on the TDP and so it does not make political sense. Moreover, there is no political alternative at this moment to take leverage on.

Withdrawing from the government at the Centre may jeopardise several of the projects such as Polavaram, Metrorail and Amaravati, as they need financial and regulatory support from the Centre. This apart, the expected foreign investment for different projects also needs the Centre’s nod to materialise.

The TDP, as a party, has no bargaining capacity at this moment and it is better to woo the old friend and get as much as possible through appeals. The TDP will not snap ties now, says senior leader and former MP Yalamanchili Sivaji.

“It will not unfriend BJP now. Lot of time left for that. It may think of such a move close to polls, in case things don’t patch up,” Mr. Sivaji said.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 12:36:59 AM |

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