TDP now takes its protest to Parliament
Union Ministers from the Telugu Desam Party, Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Y.S. Chowdary, met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday, hours after the Telugu Desam Party MPs protested at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament alleging that Andhra Pradesh’s demands were “ignored” in Union Budget.
A source said Mr. Singh heard out the two Ministers who complained about the State not getting a special package. He is learnt to have told them that the government was open to hearing out NDA allies’ concerns and was sensitive to their demands.
The TDP, an NDA ally, had protested that its demands had not been met in the Union Budget. It seems set to continue its protest on Tuesday too.
Asked whether Mr. Singh had requested them to discontinue their protests, the source said the TDP was an independent party and it alone could decide its strategy.
TDP MPs say elections were to be held in the State alongside the Lok Sabha polls and the pending work required Central assistance.
“How will we go to the people? We have to build an alternative capital after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and need Central assistance for that. The demand for a railway zone there has also not been met,” said a TDP MP not wishing to be named.
He said the party had earlier wanted special category status for the State, but was expecting at least a special package. This too had not been offered by the Centre.
Asked if there was any threat to the alliance, a TDP MP said there was no move to quit the NDA. But the TDP wanted to exert pressure on the Centre to accept its demands.
A day earlier, on Sunday, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu held a meeting with party MPs, senior MLAs and leaders in Amaravati. A decision to continue to pressure the Centre for more funds for the State was taken at the meeting.
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