The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had decided to quit Union Cabinet. The two ministers, P Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Y S Chowdary, were asked to give their resignations on Thursday.
TDP president and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who held consultations till late in the night with the party senior leaders and MPs, decided to quit the Cabinet in protest against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s who ruled out the possibility of granting of special category status to the State. Chandrababu Naidu, who watched the live telecast of Arun Jaitley’s press conference, closeted with the party senior leaders and Ministers available. He took strong exception to some of the statements of Arun Jaitley with reference to the Andhra Pradesh demands. Later in the night Chandrababu Naidu told the media persons that Jaitley’s statement had cleared all the hopes on the Central assistance to the State. He said he had to take the hard decision to quit the Cabinet.
However, the TDP will continue in NDA for the time being. A decision on quitting the NDA would be taken at a later stage, basing on the response from the Prime Minister. The TDP chief had tried to contact Modi in the night. However, as the Prime Minister was not available, he had left a message with the PM Office about the TDP’s decision to quit the Cabinet.
Chandrababu Naidu had expressed serious concern over the denial of special category status, which was promised at the time of bifurcation. He further said that the special category status was also promised by the BJP in the elections and had betrayed the people now.
“I have been waiting with patience for the Central government to fulfil the promises. Even in the Assembly this evening, I only expressed my anguish still hoping that the Central government would consider our reasonable demand. But, our hopes are dashed now,” the TDP chief said.
Meanwhile, the BJP too had decided to make its two Ministers in the Chandrababu Naidu’s cabinet quit. Both Kamineni Srinivas and P Manikyala Rao would put in their papers on Thursday morning. A decision was taken at a meeting of the party senior leaders in Vijayawada after Chandrababu Naidu’s announcement.