BJP ministers to quit if Naidu spells divorce with party

Casey Dawson
March 8, 2018

Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu has directed TDP ministers Ashok Gajapathi Raju and YS Chowdary to resign as Union Ministers.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced his party's decision at a press conference late on Wednesday night in the new state capital Amravati.

"Andhra Pradesh was unwilling and Telangana wanted the division".

"Both our ministers will be resigning from the Central government tomorrow", Naidu said. He renewed his plea to the Centre for a helping hand till his state develops on par with the neighboring states. The Centre's Modi government had refused to accede to the TDP's demands.

Earlier in the day, TDP leader Naidu in the Assembly said, "We allied with BJP only because of the special category status". Naidu lashed out at the Centre saying it was "insulting the sentiments" of the people of the state by not honouring the promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, and also in Parliament.

Although the TDP had past year given up its demand of special category status in lieu of the special package announced by Jaitley, in recent days it once again raised the issue.

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Taking to Twitter, Gandhi attached a video of the protest and said that the opposition was united on the demand to give "justice" to the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh government has finally come out officially with the demand for granting of special category status to the state. "To a further nudge from reporters about special status, Jaitley quipped, ".then why not Bihar".

The chief minister pointed out that the state had accepted the offer of a special financial package in September 2016 after the Centre claimed that no other state was being accorded a status of the kind as per the 14th finance commission report. "This afternoon I joined the protests at Jantar Mantar demanding "Special Status" for Andhra Pradesh".

This has turned the focus back on special category status for AP.

"We are hurt that a senior minister comes out and makes a public statement that special status can not be given to Andhra Pradesh. We stand by that", Mr Jaitley said.

On revenue deficit, he said Rs 4,000 crore has already been paid for 2014-15 and only Rs 138 crore remains.

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