TDP quits NDA; moves no-confidence motion against Modi govt

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) today ended its four-year-old alliance with the BJP and walked out of the NDA, eight days after two of its union ministers resigned over the Centre’s refusal to grant Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh.

Upping the ante within hours after party president and chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu made the announcement in Amaravati to pull out of the BJP-led alliance, the TDP moved a no-confidence motion against the Modi government in the Lok Sabha. The YSR Congress also moved a confidence motion.

The notices moved for the first time since the Modi government assumed office in May 2014 were not taken up as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said there was no order in the House and adjourned the proceedings for the day amid vociferous protests over various issues. The no-confidence notices were moved by TDP’s Thota Narasimham. YSR Congress member Y V Subba Reddy.

Union ministers — P Ashok Gajapati Raju and Y S Chowdary — had quit on March 8 after a meeting with the prime minister.

The TDP politburo unanimously took the decision to end the alliance during a tele-conference with Naidu this morning.

The party politburo meeting to decide over quitting the National Democratic Alliance(NDA) was planned for this evening, but the formality was completed during the daily tele-conference Naidu holds with party leaders in the morning.

The TDP will write a letter to BJP president Amit Shah and also other constituents of the NDA informing its decision and the reasons for it, a party communique said while making the announcement to quit the NDA.

The union government exuded confidence that it has the numbers to ride out the crisis with BJP terming the decision by the TDP to quit the NDA “inevitable”.

The BJP, which claimed that the TDP exit provided an opportunity for it to grow in the state, faces the prospect of going it alone in the elections in Andhra Pradesh next year with the two main regional parties — TDP and YSR Congress — arrayed gainst it.

The TDP had yesterday offered to back the YSR Congress’ no-confidence motion but said it withdrew the support as it smelt a nexus between it and the BJP.

“We go according to principles. Our leader felt being part of NDA and moving a no-confidence motion would not be ethical. So we withdrew from the NDA and I have issued a letter on no-confidence motion to the speaker at 9.30 am,” Thota Narasimham, the TDP’s floor leader in the Lok Sabha, told reporters in Delhi.

His party colleague Ramesh claimed that YSR Congress MP Vijaysai Reddy was seen making attempts to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and this, he said, hinted at a nexus between both parties.

“We have no confidence in their no-confidence motion, so we have decided to go on our own,” he said.

“If it is not taken due to lack of time today, on Monday we will get signatures from 54 MPs from various other parties and push for a no-confidence motion vigorously,” Ramesh said.

The motion can be accepted only if it has the support of at least 50 members in the House.

While the TDP has 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha, the YSR Congress has nine.

Congress and Left leaders said they would support the motion against the government.

“When the Andhra parties bring a no confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, we will support it,” Mohammad Salim of the CPI(M) said.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge added that the party would also support the motion but asked the two regional parties to not play politics over the matter.

As the opposition counted its numbers, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the whole country has full confidence in the prime minister as does the House.

“The government has the numbers… We are ready to take up everything,” he said.

With the BJP alone having 274 members in the 536-member Lok Sabha and enjoying support of allies, the no-confidence motion, if accepted, is likely to be defeated but it has the potential to put the saffron party in a tight corner in the state.

BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao accused the TDP of resorting to “lies to cover up its inept and inert governance”.

The TDP’s decision to quit, he said, was inevitable after its “mischievous propaganda” against the Centre.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee welcomed TDP’s decision to quit the NDA and urged all opposition parties to work closely together against “atrocities, economic calamities and political instability”.

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) led by K Chandrasekhar Rao ruled out its support for the no-confidence motion against the NDA government, describing the move as a “political gimmick”. The TRS has 11 MPs in the Lok Sabha.

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