This Means 'War', Says BJP Ally Chandrababu Naidu's TDP After Budget

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said he is "extremely disappointed" that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's Budget 2018 did not address the state's needs

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TDP's Chandrababu Naidu said the Budget 2018 did not meet funds needs for Amaravati


Hyderabad: 

Highlights

  1. Chandrababu Naidu has called an "emergency meeting" over the Budget
  2. He was "disappointed" with budget not addressing Andhra Pradesh's needs
  3. Ending alliance with the BJP a possibility, said a TDP lawmaker
The BJP's biggest ally in the south, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) of Chandrababu Naidu, is upset over the Budget and has called an "emergency meeting" with party leaders on Sunday.

"We are going to declare war. We have three options - one is to try and continue, two is our MPs resign and the third is to end the alliance. We will decide in the meeting with the Chief Minister on Sunday," said TDP parliamentarian TG Venkatesh in Delhi. Sources say there could be a "drastic announcement" after that meeting.

This is the BJP's second major alliance partner after the Shiv Sena to threaten a break-up on the verge of multiple elections, including the national polls.

Mr Naidu, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, is "extremely disappointed" that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's budget did not address the state's needs, said Union Minister YS Chowdhary. The moment the budget speech ended, Mr Naidu was on the phone with his ministers and lawmakers and reportedly said it was time to "act now or never".

"The people and the party are disappointed with the union budget. Many state issues like the Polavaram project funding and funds for capital Amaravati were not addressed in the budget," said Mr Chowdhary.

"We are in the alliance and will fight for our share," he asserted, adding that the party leaders will put "pressure on the Centre until 2019 elections".

Since Mr Naidu took charge as Chief Minister four years ago, his ties with the BJP have soured. The TDP believes the centre, after assuring help to fund mega promises like capital Amravati and Polavaram, has been mostly tight-fisted.

Last weekend, he told reporters his party was "ready to chart its own course" if the BJP didn't want to continue with the alliance. "Because of coalition dharma, we are keeping quiet. If they don't want us, we will do the 'namaskaram' and chart our own course," he said on Saturday.

The state unit of the BJP has been very critical of the Naidu government over the past few months and has even hinted at working with its rival YSR Congress, whose leader Jagan Mohan Reddy recently talked about supporting the BJP if Andhra Pradesh was given special status.

A TDP lawmaker, Ram Mohan Naidu, said, "Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has paid many visits to Delhi, not once did Finance Minister Arun Jaitley mention his name during the budget speech."

The TDP, which is part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance or NDA, has been demanding Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh since it was bifurcated in 2014 and a separate Telangana carved out, but the demand was rejected outright by the centre.

The TDP had also sided with the opposition in the Rajya Sabha - where the BJP-led government does not have a majority - to back calls for referring the Triple Talaq bill to a select committee.

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