he BJP leadership has shrugged off the sudden pullout of TDP from the NDA coalition at the Centre as it felt that its estranged ally’s decision was based on its domestic political compulsions than any valid injustice done to the state. The party has decided to utilize the opportunity to grow in Andhra like it did in Tripura recently.
As the no-confidence motiona moved by TDP and YSR Congress were not an issue for BJP as it has enough numbers, to weather the storm, the question before the party is only to politically take on the regional party which accused the PM and the Centre of neglecting the interests of Andhra.
This view emerged out of informal discussions BJP president Amit Shah had with senior party leaders from Andhra at his residence in Delhi Saturday afternoon. Party general secretary Ram Madhav, former union minister Daggubati Purandeswari, BJP AP unit president and MP K. Hari Babu, BJP senior leader Satish and AP legislature party leader Vishnu Kuamr Raju were present at the discussions.
Shah was told by every leader present at this meeting that TDP president and AP CM Chandrababu Naidu’s quick changes of stand on his ties with BJP appeared to be driven mostly by his fear of losing the next elections to Jagan’s YSR Congress. The ground situation in Andhra was discouraging and TDP was fast losing its base due to its poor governance in the last four years.
The BJP leaders made light of the extension of support from several opposition parties to the no-trust motions moved by both TDP and YSR Congress. At the best the motions might have secured a maximum support of around 180 MPs and it may even go up by another dozen or so, but still they cannot pose any threat to the stability of the government.
The BJP leadership is of the view that if the Speaker allows a discussion on the no-confidence motion next week, it would be good opportunity to the government to explain what all it has done to Andhra and how the arguments of TDP and YSR Congress were wrong. The ruling party was even prepared to discuss about other issues raised by the opposition like the PNB scam etc.
The BJP president told the state leaders to begin work to rebuild the party at the grassroots level and strengthen village and booth level committees and emulate the example of Tripura where it showed stellar performance by bagging from around two per cent votes in assembly elections five years ago to 43 per cent votes now.
Hari Babu, who spoke to The Sunday Guardian on phone from Delhi before reaching Shah’s residence, said that the party has full facts and figures to go to people and tell them that the PM and the BJP had done a lot for Andhra in the last three and a half years more than what any other government had done in the last five decades.
“We have details of each and every promise made to Andhra at the time of the state bifurcation and our records show that the Centre has a lot on every count. Of course certain promises like granting a railway zone and increasing the number of Assembly seats were mired in procedural wrangles due to the faulty provisions in the bifurcation Act,” said Hari Babu.
In another internal meeting of BJP leaders in Hyderabad on Friday night, party general secretary Arun Singh expressed confidence that BJP would emerge stronger in both AP and Telangana as it has enough scope and space to grow. “We never wanted TDP to leave us, they left us on their own due to their own political compulsions. Still we need not panic,” Singh told party leaders.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s stated on Friday that the delay in announcing a financial package equivalent to the special status was due to non-cooperation from the TDP government in AP. The Centre was ready to announce the package in the current session of Parliament, but there was no response from Andhra, said the FM. The BJP leaders have discussed the statement at the meeting.