VIJAYAWADA: The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), a part of the ruling NDA, will not sever ties with the BJP, for now. The TDP, which met at the residence of the Chief Minister and party supremo N Chandrababu Naidu, decided to “fight internally” to ensure that Andhra Pradesh, which is desperately in need of Central assistance for construction of the capital city Amaravati, Polavaram project etc, gets its rightful share.
Briefing reporters after the three-hour long meeting, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y S Chowdary sought to downplay reports of a possible break-up with the BJP, terming them as mere “speculation.” He said the meeting discussed the “deep dissatisfaction” among the people over the paltry allocations to the State in the Union Budget.
“We will continue to put pressure on the Centre. We will raise the matter in Parliament and stage protests on the floor of the House if needed. We hope it will not come to that. They (BJP leadership) are in touch with our party president. We hope our concerns will be addressed. We will meet again after the Budget session to decide the future course of action,” he explained.
Asked if the party has set any deadline for the Centre to respond, he replied in the negative. He also revealed that BJP chief Amit Shah had been trying to speak to Naidu.
During the meeting #UnionBudget2018 budget & no allocations to Andhra Pradesh were discussed. We will continue pressurising the centre for it. We will also raise the matter in the Parliament, if it is needed: Andhra Minister YS Chowdary after TDP Parliamentary Board meeting pic.twitter.com/N60uLH5ybL— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2018
“I can say with certainty that Amit Shah did not speak to Naidu but he will soon,” he said and also denied reports of Naidu's alleged phone call to Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray.
CM N Chandrababu Naidu did not speak to Shiv Sena. There has been no communication between Amit Shah and the CM either: MoS YS Chowdary after TDP Parliamentary Board meeting pic.twitter.com/6TCuj2XaFQ— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2018
To repeated queries on whether the alliance will continue, he shot back: “Think of marriage, not divorce.” However, he left open the door for divorce when he said the party will take a call on the alliance if all efforts fail.
The TDP and the BJP had contested the 2014 elections in an alliance. In terms of seats won, the TDP is the second largest party in the NDA.