Chandrababu Naidu’s arm-twisting tactics fail, for now

Nara Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday walked out of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over the Centre’s refusal to accord a special-category status to Andhra Pradesh.

Besides, the TDP moved a no-confidence motion against the NDA government over what it sees as injustice to the people of Andhra Pradesh. While Opposition parties, including the Congress, CPI(M), and AIMIM, extended their support for the motion, it could not be taken up amid sloganeering in the Lok Sabha.

According to political observers, the script for the showdown was written months ago when Prime Minister Narendra Modi elevated Shri M Venkaiah Naidu as the Vice-President of India. TDP issued a statement that the Centre has removed a staunch supporter of Andhra Pradesh from the Council of Ministers.

Apart from that, Naidu has other grudges also against the Centre. “Naidu wants all Central funds to go to Andhra Pradesh,” said a BJP leader, who was echoing the Central government’s unhappiness with the highly demanding chief minister. Although Naidu sought appointments with the Prime Minister several times in the last one year, Modi did not give time. Finally, on January 13 both the leaders met. On that occasion also, the Andhra CM had only one demand to make: more money. Naidu took this calculated move as assembly elections in Andhra are due in 2019 alongside the Lok Sabha polls and he wants to deflect any anti-incumbency mood in the state.

Also, Naidu has a problem with Andhra Pradesh governor ESL Narasimhan, as he is close to Telangana CM K Chandrasekhara Rao.

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