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Andhra special status row: Two TDP ministers quit; party to remain in NDA

The two Houses of Parliament couldn't transact any business, with the TDP and other parties protesting on various issues

Archis Mohan  |  New Delhi 

Y S Chowdary, Ashok Gajapathi Raju
Y S Chowdary(left), Ashok Gajapathi Raju

Two (TDP) ministers quit the Union council of ministers on Thursday evening, but the party said it would continue to be a constituent of the ruling (BJP)-led Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Civil Aviation Minister and Minister of State for Science and Technology sent in their resignations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with letters addressed to the President.

Two BJP ministers in the N Cabinet in also resigned. Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas and Endowment Minister P Manikyala Rao met the CM and submitted their resignations.

While government sources ruled out any possibility of a compromise on the TDP’s demand for giving special status, the PM spoke to Naidu over the phone.

Naidu, late Wednesday evening, had instructed his ministers to quit the council of ministers after Finance Minister had ruled out to AP. “I tried reaching out to the PM to inform him about the decision. But sadly, he was unavailable,” Naidu had tweeted.

In several off-the-record briefings, the BJP leadership said granting was not only impossible after the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission had been accepted, but would also open a Pandora’s box with states such as Odisha, Punjab and Bihar also demanding special status.

In Patna, the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) said it saluted the courage shown by Naidu, and asked Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to “speak up” for the state.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the YSR and other parties were creating "political pressure" with "false propaganda" on the issue of special status to Andhra Pradesh, which may have forced the CM to take such a step.

spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the JD (U) and BJP were on the brink of a divorce.

In Kolkata, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee called upon all regional parties to come together to defeat the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections next year. “Are you (BJP) not able to hear the sound of revolt from various parts of the country? Are you not able to read the results in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat? The has walked out," she said.

In his brief resignation letter to the PM, Raju conveyed his “gratitude for the cooperation” extended to him by the PM during his tenure as a member of the council of ministers. In his letter, Chowdary said he needed to quit because of the “prevailing public sentiment” in his constituency, the “circumstances” that led to that situation and adhering to the decision taken by his party.

Talking to the media, Raju said the division of was done unscientifically. “And it needs corrective action. That is what we are requesting now.”

The two Houses of Parliament couldn’t transact any business, with the and other parties protesting on various issues.

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 01:05 IST