In a politically seismic Wednesday night development, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has pulled out of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, saying that no compromise is possible over the issue of special category status for Andhra Pradesh. As per top sources, Andhra Pradesh chief minister and TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu will convey the decision to the Prime Minister personally on Thursday.
"Jaitley said no special status for Andhra Pradesh. That only North east states will get special status."
"He offered Rs 1600 crore. We have been asked to either take it or not."
"Centre hasn't spoken about most of the schemes promised. They worked with a pre-determined mindset."
"We have come out of the alliance. I discussed these issued with my MPs. We're not hungry for power. We are there for the state. At one time we had 40 MPs and still didn't take any ministership."
"We pledged our alliance to NDA based on the promises made by them. I made 29 visits to the Centre."
"Our two union ministers will resign tomorrow."
"We have explained in detail our demands again and again. When BJP was in Opposition they demanded Special Category status but when they came to power, they didn't act."
"It is because we have no other option that we have taken this decision."
"As a next step, we will take a decision on whether to continue with NDA or not."
"We made all efforts to convince them. I remained patient for 4 years."
"I am deeply hurt by what Arun Jaitley said today. During my speech in the assembly I made appeals only and demanded promises to be fulfilled. It's not right to say that sentiments will not get funds."
"As a courtesy and being a responsible senior politician, I tried reaching out to Prime Minister to inform him about our decision. He was unavailable."
"I am only doing this for the good of the public. The Centre should act now"
"I will take a call on how to politically move forward. Have patience."
"We have to fight, we have to stand and get it done."
"Even Jaitley had said today he will give special package. I demanded special status."
"I am not angry at anyone. I will get special category status at any cost."
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had offered a final olive branch over the issue to earlier in the day but it appears to have failed to convince the TDP.
"We are committed to giving monetary equivalent of special status to Andhra Pradesh," Jaitley had said.
As per top sources, the two central ministers of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) will also formally resign on Thursday. Civil Aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Minister of State for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences YS Chowdhary's offers of resignation were made to Chandrababu Naidu. Conversely, two BJP ministers in the Andhra Pradesh government are also likely to resign from their posts.
The TDP had been an NDA constituent since the time that Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of India.
In the current government, the TDP is the BJP's second largest ally with 16 seats in the Lok Sabha. The demand for special category status for Andhra Pradesh has been a point of contention between the TDP and the government since the state was split and Telangana was formed. The issue had reached a head when the state government wasn't satisfied with the 2018 Union Budget. The BJP had backed the demand for special category status when is was in Opposition.