In a hugely significant political development, a TDP Member of Parliament has confirmed to Republic that the Chandrababu Naidu-led party will be exiting the NDA alliance, of which it is one of the oldest members.
A letter is likely to be released imminently (at the time of publishing) towards this and a formal declaration is likely to be made following a meeting at Vijayawada at 5 pm.
Speaking to Republic TV shortly after the newsbreak, YS Chowdury, former union minister, confirmed the development as well. In a parallel development the TDP's main rival in Andhra Pradesh, the YSR Congress is attempting to bring in a motion of no confidence in the council of ministers over the demand for special category status for Andhra Pradesh. Republic TV has learnt that the TDP will either be joining this motion or pushing a motion on its own.
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.
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