An almighty war of words, as well as a scramble, have broken out after the TDP on Friday exited the NDA alliance and said it would move a motion of no-confidence against the union council of ministers.
The TDP's no-confidence motion came after its chief rival in Andhra Pradesh, the YSR Congress Party, issued its own intention to move a no-confidence motion against the Centre.
Both parties are now sniping at each other, even as the remainder of the Opposition has enthusiastically welcomed the events of the day, but is unable to decide whose no-confidence motion to back.
Shortly after the TDP held a news conference alleging that the YSR Congress' no-confidence motion was just an eyewash as party leaders had met PM Modi, YSR chief Jagan Mohan Reddy claimed that the TDP had followed the YSRCP's lead:
After 4 years of relentless struggle and fight by YSRCP with people’s support for Special Category Status; finally the nation, including Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP wakes up!
Even if guided by political compulsion, TDP had to yet again follow YSRCP’s lead of moving no confidence motion against the Central Govt for not granting SCS to AP. Win for democracy & people of AP. YSRCP will continue to fight for SCS, the rights of the people of AP
The Congress has welcomed the no-confidence motion and said it's open to supporting it, though it hasn't yet promised its support to either TDP or YSRCP.
Speaking to reporters, senior Congress Lok Sabha MP Mallikarjun Kharge said that his party supports a special category status for Andhra Pradesh and there should be no politics about this.
The AIADMK has also said it is open to supporting the no-confidence motion, in light of its own reservations over the Cauvery Water Board. The Trinamool Congress welcomed the TDP's exit as Mamata Banerjee said she would support the motion, and so did the CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has signed the TDP's no-confidence motion he tweeted the following:
A party that is not supporting the motion is NDA constituent Akali Dal that has said that it will remain with the NDA and that the TDP's decision to quit the alliance is unfortunate.
54 signatures are required to move the no-confidence motion. The TDP has said that it will have 100 signatures.
At the time of publishing, Republic TV also broke news of a TDP-BJD-TMC secret meet, as well as a meeting between the BJP and it's strained ally, the Shiv Sena.
Earlier on Friday, the TDP issued a statement announcing its withdrawal from the ruling NDA alliance. The statement read as follows:
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) withdrew its support from NDA which did injustice to AP.
TDP President and Hon'ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Shri Nara Chandrababu Naidu took this decision in an emergency teleconference with party politburo members and MPs.
TDP Politburo unanimously decided to withdraw support from NDA.
TDP to introduce no-confidence motion on NDA government.
On Thursday, Republic TV learnt that Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu is likely to be the face of a 'federal front' consisting of multiple parties for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Seven parties are said to have confirmed their support for the TDP, and crucially, the Congress has not been invited. The 'federal front' may be formally announced in May, by Naidu.
Shortly before that, Republic TV had got first word that Naidu and his Telugu Desam Party may walk out of the ruling NDA coalition after speaking with Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati post the U.P bypoll results.
The TDP escalated a strained relationship with its ally BJP last week by withdrawing its union ministers from the central government over the special category status for Andhra Pradesh issue.
Talks about a third front have been ongoing ever since the BJP managed to come into government in Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya, extending its footprint to unprecedented levels.
At that time, Telangana chief minister KCR had been the first to hint at taking up a national role. Mamata Banerjee also spurred into action after revealing that Rahul Gandhi had declined her invitation to contest the North East elections together.