TDP to put pressure on BJP over injustice in Union Budget


TDP national president and Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu and his senior colleagues were fumed over what the party termed as the "raw deal" meted out to the state in the budget unveiled on Thursday.

Speculation over the state of the BJP-TDP relationship has been making the rounds ever since finance minister Arun Jaitley presented the Budget in Parliament on February 1. TDP MP Rammohan Naidu said they were even ready to resign for the sake of the state. The meeting decided that while the TDP will remain part of the NDA, Naidu himself will lead protest against the Centre and its policies if the State's demands are not addressed.

There was no formal communication about what transpired at the meeting, but some senior TDP leaders said off the record that nearly everyone, including many district unit chiefs, wanted the TDP to end the alliance with the BJP after the Budget "ignored" the state. And also said they are not satisfied with the budget allocated to Andhra state. Special package in lieu of special category status (SCS), creation of Vizag railway zone and completion of Polavaram project are the key demands of the TDP. Naidu did not speak to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, BJP's ally in Maharashtra, as some media reports claimed, the minister told reporters.

BJP MLC Somu Veerraju unleashed a no-holds-barred attack against the the TDP on Sunday, and dubbed its leaders as "perpetrators of corruption". "We will decide (our course of action) in a meeting with CM Naidu on Sunday", TG Venkatesh, TDP MP, said outside Parliament on Friday. Naidu was reportedly disappointed that Andhra Pradesh was denied promised financial assistance by the BJP-led Centre, despite the state reeling under financial crisis after bifurcation. He added, BJP and the center should sort out the matter with the TDP at the earliest. Rajya Sabha chairman and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu had urged members not to disrupt the functioning of Rajya Sabha. The alliance of the TDP and the BJP has come under great strain in the aftermath of the Union Budget this year. "Till then, we shall wait and watch", Chowdary said.

A senior BJP leader from Andhra Pradesh said that the TDP-BJP alliance will continue as usual.