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HYDERABAD:Since Chandrababu Naidu took charge as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh four years ago, his ties with the BJP have soured.

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP to hold ’emergency meeting’ in Vijaywada
  2. TDP meeting amid Chandrababu Naidu threatening to pull out of NDA
  3. Upset Naidu said, nothing in budget for state; should pull out of NDA
Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the BJP’s biggest ally in the South, is meeting in Vijayawada amid a string of recent remarks by the party threatening a break-up. Today’s “emergency meeting” comes on the back of the TDP expressing its “extreme disappointment” over Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget which, it said, ignores the needs of Andhra Pradesh.

“Budget couldn’t favour us… zero we got … if they (centre) don’t do anything, we should get out of the alliance, that’s what Chandrababu Naidu yesterday said… if he decides, then we will resign and come out,” TDP parliamentarian Rayapati Sambasiva Rao said on Saturday.Since Mr Naidu took charge as Chief Minister four years ago, his ties with the BJP have soured. The TDP believes the centre, after assuring help to fund mega promises like capital Amaravati and Polavaram, has been mostly tight-fisted.

Last weekend, he told reporters his party was “ready to chart its own course” if the BJP didn’t want to continue with the alliance. “Because of coalition dharma, we are keeping quiet. If they don’t want us, we will do the ‘namaskaram‘ and chart our own course,” he said.

The state unit of the BJP has been very critical of the Naidu government over the past few months and has even hinted at working with its rival YSR Congress, whose leader Jagan Mohan Reddy recently talked about supporting the BJP if Andhra Pradesh was given special status.

The TDP, which is part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance or NDA, has been demanding Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh since it was bifurcated in 2014 and a separate Telangana carved out, but the demand was rejected outright by the centre.

The TDP had also sided with the opposition in the Rajya Sabha – where the BJP-led government does not have a majority – to back calls for referring the Triple Talaq bill to a select committee.

Mr Rao was referring to Friday’s meeting called by Mr Naidu, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, where the party discussed the “injustice” meted out to the state in the Budget. The moment the budget speech ended, Mr Naidu was on the phone with his ministers and lawmakers and reportedly said it was time to “act now or never”.

But the TDP chief, at the meeting, also asked his lawmakers to exercise restraint and to “wait and go slow”, Mr Rao said.

“TDP is an old ally of BJP, we will talk it out and tell them we are committed to the interests of Andhra Pradesh,” Ram Madhav, BJP National General Secretary said..

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