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Eventually all BJP allies will walk out of NDA
Shiv Sena after TDP pulls out of Union Cabinet
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MUMBAI, Mar 8 (Agencies): BJP's estranged ally Shiv Sena has now taken a dig at the saffron party after the N Chandrababu-led Naidu TDP decided to pull out its ministers from the Narendra Modi government over its refusal to grant a special status to his state Andhra Pradesh.

''Shiv Sena had expected this. Other parties have walked out of NDA too','' Sanjay Raut, a senior leader of the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.

Slamming the BJP for not respecting ties with its allies, Raut said, ''Allies no longer have good relations with BJP. Gradually their grudges will spill out and eventually they'll walk out of the alliance.''

Before Raut, another Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant had too made similar statements.

"The BJP doesn't respect its allies. TDP is realising it now. We have been saying so for a very long time. BJP only says Sabka Saath but while deciding policies there is no Sabka Saath. They should take decisions unanimously by consulting all but they don't do that," Sawant had said.

In a related development, the Congress attempted to reach out to the TDP and extended support to its demand for special category status for Andhra Pradesh.

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Renuka Chaudhary said, "The so-called ally (BJP) has gone back on their promise. This is exactly we expected. These people will never stand by their allies. It is a good thing that they (TDP) have now realised the real nature of them (BJP)."

She added that Telugu people are very humble people and they gave TDP a long rope.

"It is for them (TDP) now (to decide) whether they want to hang with it or fight," Chaudhary said.

The reactions came hours after the N Chandrababu Naidu-led party announced its decision to pull out of the Centre over its refusal to grant Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh.

TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had announced on Wednesday that the two TDP ministers - P Ashok Gajapathi Raju (Civil Aviation) and YS Chowdary (Minister of State for Science and Technology) - will tender their resignations on Thursday.

Addressing a press briefing, Naidu alleged that the Centre has done a huge injustice to the state.

The TDP is the second-largest party after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

In the Lok Sabha, the TDP has 16 members and six in the Rajya Sabha.

It is the first pre-poll partner of the BJP to pull out of the Modi government after being part of it for nearly four years.

His announcement came hours after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi told the media that granting of special status to Andhra Pradesh was not possible after the 14th Finance Commission recommendations.

Jaitley did not make any new commitment except for reiterating that the Centre had extended all possible help to the bifurcated state.

Granting special category status was a promise made by the previous UPA government at the time of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creation of Telangana, which all the parties in the state are seeking now.

Naidu said a decision on TDP's continuation in the NDA would be decided after talking party-to-party (BJP and TDP). "This (quitting the cabinet) is the first step," he said.

"They (the Centre) are predetermined not to help the state. In the interest of our state, we have taken the decision," he said. I tried to inform the PM for courtesy's sake. But, he did not come online. My OSD informed the PM's OSD."

The drastic decision of the TDP may not have come as a shock to the BJP, which had earlier conveyed to its two ministers in the Andhra Pradesh cabinet to be ready to quit any moment.

Accordingly, Dr Kamineni Srinivas (Medical and Health) and P Manikyala Rao (Endowments) will quit the Naidu cabinet on Thursday, hours before the budget presentation by Finance Minister Y Ramakrishnudu in the state assembly.

Naidu earlier held consultations with the party's MPs, ministers and important leaders before taking the decision and making it public.

The MPs, including the two ministers, expressed a unanimous opinion that Jaitley's statement on the demands of Andhra Pradesh was ''disappointing and discouraging.''

All parties in the state, including the ruling TDP and the main opposition YSR Congress Party, have been agitating in Delhi demanding grant of special status.

Agitations are also going on across the state.

Naidu said at the time of making the alliance, the BJP had said it backed the demand for grant of special category status for Andhra Pradesh but now it was singing a different tune.

He said the promises on statehood and other financial demands of the state have not been honoured by the BJP and he could not make any compromise on the state's interest.

"TDP is not for power but for self-respect. We decided there is no point in continuing in the government," he added.

Naidu said Jaitley's comments suggest that Andhra Pradesh is asking for too much.

He also slammed the Finance Minister for saying "sentiments will not decide the quantum of funds".

He said he made 29 trips to Delhi, met the Prime Minister and other ministers and tried to do his best to do justice for the state. "I am not angry with anybody," he added.

News Updated at : Friday, March 9, 2018
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