Photograph: Kind courtesy @AndhraPradeshCM/Twitter
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday said he was fighting a 'dharma yuddh' (battle for righteousness) to secure the state's 'legitimate' rights and parties at national level were backing Telugu Desam Party's no-confidence motion against the National Democratic Alliance government due to his party's credibility.
Speaking to reporters here hours after the TDP quit the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA and moved the notice for the motion in Lok Sabha, Naidu said he would now go ahead and bring various parties at the national level together.
The TDP supremo said he had not contacted any party yet but given the 'TDP’s credibility' they were supporting the no-trust motion.
"We are fighting a dharma yuddham against the Centre to secure our state’s legitimate rights. TDP has a credibility at the national level, so many parties are coming forward to support us. I will soon speak to those who are ready to support us," he said.
Naidu said he was now free to talk with any party which he could not do while being a partner of the ruling alliance at the Centre.
"I now have no obligations and I will go ahead by bringing various parties at the national level together," he added.
The TDP, which had recently pulled out its ministers from the Modi government, this morning decided to quit the NDA.
Naidu also wrote to BJP president Amit Shah on Friday night, saying they felt it pointless to continue in NDA as the Union government failed to discharge its constitutional responsibilities in implementing 'Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act,2014' in letter and spirit.
He pointed out that on most of the crucial provisions of the Act, and the assurances given in the Rajya Sabha, the progress was 'tardy, unsatisfactory and disappointing.'
In the four-page letter, the TDP chief, however, did not mention about the 'collusion' between BJP and other parties (YSR Congress and Jana Sena) that he alleged in the morning during a teleconference with party politburo members and MPs.
'Today, a feeling is gaining ground in our state that the BJP is not sensitive to the aspirations of our people.'
'We feel the government headed by it is not willing to implement in letter and spirit the provisions in the AP Reorganisation Act and the assurances given by the then Prime Minister in Rajya Sabha,' he said.
The TDP chief said his party had joined the alliance in the hope that the state would get fair treatment and expectation that the people would get justice.
'When our being in the alliance doesn't serve that purpose, we feel that it is pointless to continue,' he noted.
Naidu said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's statement on March 7 to the media made it clear that the union government was not willing to respect the promises made to the five crore people of Andhra Pradesh.
'On that day, our Union Ministers have exited the Council of Ministers. We expected that before the passage of the Finance Bill, necessary modifications will be made to do
justice to the people of AP. But now the Budget was passed and our state has not got justice,' the chief minister said.
The TDP chief said his party joined the NDA under the leadership of the BJP before the 2014 general elections and fought the elections together in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
'It is a different matter that after the elections you have ended our alliance in Telangana without even the courtesy of formally informing us,' Chandrababu said.
He recalled that Narendra Modi, the then prime ministerial candidate, in his public meetings in Andhra Pradesh, had emphatically assured the people that he would give special category status as well as help the state build a capital city much better than Delhi.
'We were told that the 14th Finance Commission recommended against granting of SCS to any state. Although this was a contestable interpretation of the Finance Commission's report, we went along with it because we were promised that all facilities and incentives that are enjoyed by SCS states will be extended to us in the form of special assistance, except the nomenclature. Sadly, that was not to be,' he said.
'The Union government, we feel, has failed to discharge its constitutional responsibilities in implementing the AP Reorganisation Act,' the chief minister said.
Earlier in the day, the party moved a no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha against the Modi government demanding that the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 be implemented in toto and also the promises made by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Rajya Sabha be honoured.
“We came out of the NDA because of moral values. Only then we moved a no-confidence motion. Those who don’t have any moral values were making rounds of the Prime Minister’s Office,” Naidu said, in an obvious reference to the YSR Congress that also moved a no-trust motion.
The TDP decided to move the motion on its own rather than support the one moved by a party that 'did not have any moral values', he said.
Speaking in the state Legislative Council on a short discussion on implementation of the AP Reorganisation Act, the chief minister explained the reasons for the TDP exiting the NDA.
"We joined the NDA in the first place only to protect our state’s interests in the aftermath of bifurcation. We waited for four years with the hope that the Centre will honour all the promises but it only meted out injustice to us,” Naidu said.
However, the BJP never cared about TDP, he charged adding while in the Opposition, it promised to take care of the state and its needs but once in power, "it completely ignored us."
Coming down on the prime minister, he said Modi did not even bother to invite the TDP MPs for a discussion when they were agitating in Parliament for the state’s rights.
He said Modi showed a lot of concern for AP on the eve of 2014 elections and promised many things, including building the state’s new capital better than New Delhi.
The chief minister wanted to know what happened to all those promises. "Why was the Centre not co-operating in building Amaravati?" he asked.
The TDP supremo charged both YSR Congress and the Jana Sena, the main rivals for TDP in the state, with colluding with the BJP.
"Whose interests are they seeking to protect," he questioned angrily and found fault with the Prime Minister for trying to enact 'a Tamil Nadu-type drama in Andhra as well'.
"O Pannerselvam himself said he agreed to accept the deputy chief minister post at the behest of Narendra Modi," he said.
The Council later adopted a resolution demanding that the Centre implement all provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act and also the promises made in Rajya Sabha.
IMAGE: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu with TDP leaders CM Ramesh and Varla Ramaiah in Vijayawada. Photograph: PTI Photo