NEW DELHI/VIJAYWADA: Unhappy with finance minister Arun Jaitley‘s statement in Parliament on the allocation of funds for Andhra Pradesh, the second in the last few days, TDP president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu is reported to have told his party MPs that “the Centre is behaving in such a way that it is making people of AP feel that they are not part of the nation”.
Naidu, who is in Dubai, called an emergency tele-conference meeting with TDP MPs, including two ministers in the Union Cabinet, on Thursday. He directed the MPs to continue with their protests in Parliament, TDP sources told TOI.
BJP sore with TDP muscle-flexing
TDP MPs read out Arun Jaitley’s statement in Parliament to Naidu during the tele-conference. Some of them told Naidu that TDP should keep up the tough stance towards the Centre.
TDP sources said they have been pushed to the corner by the BJP leadership. “Naidu expressed unhappiness over the Centre’s response in the last few days and asked us to keep up the protest in Parliament,” Tota Narasimham, TDP floor leader in the Lok Sabha, said.
Naidu will hold another tele-conference with his MPs on Friday, sources said, adding that a firm decision would be taken based on the outcome of the talks between AP government and Union government officials on revenue deficit and externally aided projects.
Some Tdp Members, including state HRD minister Ganta Srinivas Rao, said if required, TDP will walk out of NDA.
Meanwhile, BJP sources expressed their unhappiness over TDP’s muscle-flexing and said that such brinkmanship could strain equations. “Each time you concede their demand, they come up with new ones. There is a limit to how much you can do for one state when you are having to deal with expectations from others too,” the sources said. “There is a strong possibility of position hardening on our side as well if Naidu just goes on raising his ante,” the sources said.
Earlier, as he sought to comfort the TDP lawmakers in Parliament, finance minister Jaitley said the Centre was finalising the details of a fresh package in consultation with the state. Without disclosing details, Jaitley said that an arrangement had been worked out and the state officials had gone back and will communicate the decision to the Centre. The statement came amid high drama in the House with Congress members protesting against the FM’s comments on Rafale.
Already, TDP members were in the well, demanding the special package.
Jaitley urged them to allow him speak. Amid the noise, Jaitley said that most elements of the package finalised at the time of bifurcation had already been given to Andhra as the state was at a disadvantage after the creation of Telangana.
“The package involved several aspects, many of which have been implemented. Some of them are work in progress. We have given so far funds as promised for a large number of institutions which are being created because most of the institutions went to the Telangana state. Therefore, Andhra Pradesh is entitled to these institutions,” he said as TDP members kept standing near him, prompting Uma Bharti to come to the front row.
Source : timesofindia