Hyderabad: The disgruntled Telugu Desam Party of Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday decided that the alliance with the BJP will continue for now after BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah reached out to the party. A final call will be taken if the government fails to announce any provision for Andhra Pradesh during the budget session, said party leader Ram Mohan Naidu.
- Chandrababu Naidu's TDP to hold 'emergency meeting' in Vijaywada
- TDP meeting amid Chandrababu Naidu threatening to pull out of NDA
- Upset Naidu said, nothing in budget for state; should pull out of NDA
The party - the BJP's biggest ally in south India - has been upset since the union budget, alleging the state has been ignored. Various leaders had spoken of a break-up and Sunday's "emergency meeting" in Vijaywada was meant to rethink the alliance. Some though, had advised a softer approach. "We will reach out to leaders in Delhi... why talk of divorce?" said the party's senior leader YS Chaudhury.
On Sunday, as the meeting was on, union minister Rajnath Singh had dialled Mr Naidu. It is not known what the two leaders discussed.
But after the meeting, Ram Mohan Naidu, a parliamentarian from Srikakulam, said, "We are giving the BJP a last chance. They must offer something substantial... a concrete announcement while the budget session of parliament is on". The party's strategy, he said, is to "make a noise in parliament". "If that doesn't work, it means they don't value us as alliance partners. So we may then break coalition dharma and say namaskaram," he added.
On Friday, the Chief Minister had called a meeting of his party leaders and lawmakers to discuss the "injustice" to the state. Sources said he had started making calls the minute the Union finance minister Arun Jaitley's budget speech ended.
"The budget couldn't favour us... zero we got... if they (the centre) don't do anything, we should get out of the alliance, that's what Chandrababu Naidu yesterday said," TDP parliamentarian Rayapati Sambasiva Rao had said.
On Sunday, legislator TG Venkatesh said the BJP-led central government was being "discriminatory" towards Tamil Nadu. It has been partial to BJP-ruled states, he said.
The BJP state leaders appear unhappy with the developments. Senior party leader Somu Veerraju said, "The TDP leaders are indulging in trade rather than talking for the people."
The member of legislative council said the TDP was capable of even dumping the BJP to go with the Congress.
The party's state unit has been very critical of the Naidu government and hinted at working with rival YSR Congress, whose leader Jagan Mohan Reddy recently talked about supporting the BJP if Andhra Pradesh was given special status.
Since Mr Naidu took charge as Chief Minister four years ago, his ties with the BJP have soured. The TDP has been demanding Special Category status for Andhra Pradesh since Telangana was carved out of the state in 2014. But the demand has been rejected by the centre. Mr Naidu's party also says the centre, despite promising to help fund mega projects like capital Amaravati and Polavaram, has been mostly tight-fisted.