The ruling Telugu Desam Party, a National Democratic Alliance partner, would support any no-confidence motion against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre in the interest of Andhra Pradesh as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has meted out ‘injustice’ to the state, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said on Thursday.
Naidu stated this in the state assembly hours after YSR Congress, TDP’s rival in the state, gave notice for moving a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government, in the backdrop of the Centre’s refusal to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
“We will support a no-confidence motion, whoever moves it. We will be ready for that and our 16-17 MPs will fully support that. We will co-operate with whoever fights for the state’s rights,” Naidu told the state assembly.
His announcement came amid indications that the TDP, which recently pulled out its ministers from the Narendra Modi government, was toying with the idea of quitting the NDA.
An emergency meeting of the Telugu Desam Party politburo has been convened on Friday evening to take a call on the issue, party sources said.
In his statement in the assembly, Naidu said: “I am telling this with pain and agony, 40 years of political experience and as people’s word. It is not good to play with
the lives of people. If you sincerely move the no-trust motion, we will fully co-operate. If you do it by colluding, we will expose you,” the TDP president warned the YSRC.
The YSRC is seeking to put the TDP on the defensive by moving a no-confidence motion.
Refuting criticism against him that he was ‘weak, the chief minister said: “Mine is dharma, mitra dharma. For four years I have been requesting the Centre but now, only under inevitable circumstances, I started fighting only to secure the state’s rights since the prime minister has meted out injustice.”
He reiterated the demand that the Centre fully implement the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 and also the promises made in the Rajya Sabha at the time of bifurcation of the state to carve out Telangana.
Naidu recalled that the TDP MPs had been constantly fighting in Parliament to get the promises fulfilled.
Earlier, the TDP chief discussed the no-trust motion with his senior colleagues and decided to support it.
During the day, the TDP floated a ‘conspiracy’ theory as it toyed with the idea of leaving the NDA. Several leaders targeted the BJP for the no-holds-barred attack by Jana Sena president and film star Pawan Kalyan on the chief minister and his son Lokesh on Wednesday night.
Incidentally, Kalyan -- who floated Jana Sena in March 2014 -- played a key role in the TDP’s victory in the then general elections.
His party did not contest the elections but supported the TDP-BJP combine, though in 2019 the Jana Sena is all set to become a major challenger to the TDP.
Chandrababu Naidu first held a teleconference with party MPs and senior leaders and followed it up with a meeting with ministers in the assembly.
Several TDP leaders condemned Kalyan’s diatribe and sought to blame it all on the BJP top leadership.
Beginning with Naidu, all TDP leaders alleged a “conspiracy” in collusion with the popular star to weaken their party as they lashed out at Kalyan for reading out the
“New Delhi script”.
“At a time when I am fighting to safeguard the interests of the state, some people are trying to weaken me by indulging in unwarranted criticism instead of strengthening my hands. They should ponder if it is fair,” Naidu said.
“Some bigwigs are behind this drama,” he alleged, but did not name anyone.
Earlier in the day, in an oblique reference to the BJP central leadership, the chief minister warned that “Tamil Nadu-type dramas” could not be played in Andhra Pradesh.
He was apparently referring to allegations by opposition parties in Tamil Nadu that BJP was controlling the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government in the state.