Union ministers from the Telagu Desam Party (TDP) — Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Minister of State for Science and Technology YS Chowdary – met with the Prime Ministers to officially hand over their resignations this evening 6 PM at his official 7 Lok Kalyan Marg residence.
Hours before the development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. The details of what transpired between the conversation of two leaders are still awaited.
The TDP had decided to pull out their ministers from the Centre last night over the issue of special status for Andhra Pradesh. The party will, however, continue in the NDA fold from outside, told Ashok Gajapathi Raju in presser shortly after submitting the resignation.
“Our leader (Chandrababu Naidu) has taken a decision… and rightly so to come out of the government. Hope our resignations will be accepted,” he said.
“Considerable amount of time has elapsed… In these circumstances, unless we hear the people’s voice, it doesn’t make sense… As per direction of TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, we have taken the decision,” another outgoing minister and TDP leader YS Chowdary said.
Earlier, Andhra Chief Minister and the TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu made the announcement at an emergency press conference in Amravati last night saying that the decision was painful but was taken keeping the state’s interest in mind.
“This is the first step. We will go ahead with other actions later,” Naidu had said in his presser, adding that he tried to speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “courtesy” to inform him about the decision to quit but he did not come on line.
“Arun Jaitley’s statement was the last straw. They are apparently predetermined. They don’t appear to help the state,” he told the press pack in his late night presser on Wednesday.
TDP’s announcement came hours after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Centre was willing to provide the “monetary equivalent” of a special-category state to Andhra Pradesh, but would not be able to grant it “special status” which was restricted only to the north-eastern and three hill states by the 14th Finance Commission.
The Telagu Desam Party (TDP) has been agitating in both the houses of Parliament over the issue of financial aid to the state, which was promised at the time of its bifurcation in 2014.
Meanwhile, the BJP has rejected TDP’s charge that the Modi government neglected the state, saying the Centre not only fulfilled all its obligations but also had gone out of its way to help the state.
BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said the Modi dispensation worked to ensure that Andhra Pradesh got full resources in infrastructure and industrial sector after the bifurcation of the state.
In a related development, BJP ministers in Andhra Pradesh announced their decision to quit from the state cabinet, moments after Chandrababu Naidu’s announcement.
Kamineni Srinivas and Paidikondala Manikyala Rao BJP ministers in the state cabinet will resign on Thursday.