Telugu Desam Party not to divorce BJP for now

The turnaround became imminent as the top BJP leaders got into action to placate the ruffled feathers of their biggest ally in the south

Hyderabad: After building up a crescendo over the possibility of its quitting the National Democratic Alliance at the Centre, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) today decided not to press for divorce with the BJP.

After the meeting of Telugu Desam Parlimaentary Party in Amravati, chaired by the party president and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Union minister YS Chowdhary told the media that the TDP will not break the alliance with the BJP led NDA.

“Think of marriage, not divorce”, he quipped when asked whether the TDP was going to divorce the BJP. He also termed the speculations as media hype and described TDPP meeting as “routine”.

The turnaround became imminent as the top BJP leaders got in to action to placate the ruffled feathers of their biggest ally in south. Before the meeting the BJP National President Amit Shah called Chandrababu Naidu over phone and urged him not to take any extreme decision, sources said.

There were also unconfirmed reports that the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also spoke to Naidu and advised him against any extreme step.

Ram Madhav, the national general secretary of the BJP earlier in Vijayawada sought to put the TDP at ease describing it as an old and important ally and stressed that the BJP was committed to the interest of Andhra Pradesh. He assured that the BJP leaders will talk to the TDP leaders on the issues.

Naidu convened the emergency meeting of MPs in the backdrop of extreme disappointment in the state over the meagre allocation in the Union Budget and complete neglect of two prestigious projects — Polavaram dam and building of capital city.

The meeting was followed by a spate of statements by the TDP MPs that they might resign from parliament as mark of protest. The other option the party mulled was asking its two ministers to resign from Narendar Modi government. But the meeting ended without any such dramatic decision but the party decided to continue to make noises over injustice to Andhra Pradesh.

“For Telugu Desam Party the interest of Andhra Pradesh was more important than friendship with the BJP”, said YV Chowdhary. Naidu has directed the party MPs to raise their voice in Parliament against the injustices meted out to Andhra Pradesh in the budget, he said. “No allocations were made to the state in the budget and we will fight against it”.

“People of the state are dissatisfied with the Budget of the union government”, he said adding that the party will patiently continue its fight.

Chowdhary made it clear that the Centre will have to fulfil all the promises made to Andrah Pradesh on Polavaram irrigation project, the building of new capital and making Visakhapatnam a Railway Zone.

“Even after our protests do not yield the desired results and the BJP fails to give due rights to Andhra Pradesh, party President Chandrababu Naidu will announce the final plan of action”, he said.

Earlier Chandrababu Naidu has warned the BJP that if it was not interested in continuing the alliance, the TDP too was ready to say goodbye and chart its own course.

Another TDP MP J C Diwakar Reddy, known for his outbursts, said that if the Centre does not take any decision before the end of current session of parliament resignation will be the only option for the party.

TG Venkatesh, another member of Lok Sabha said that the TDP MPs will now intensify their protests in Parliament. “We had a clear discussion on a decisive action. We have not forgotten the self respect of Telugu and we will not go back on our fight for justice”, he said.

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