Knives out for BJP
Telugu Desam Party MPs are raring to strip the BJP naked on how it betrayed the trust of the people of the reorganised state of Andhra Pradesh by refusing to deliver Special Category Status and how it had gone back on the promises made in the AP State Reorganisation Act, 2014, when Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan takes up their motion for noconfidence against the NDA on Friday
New Delhi: Telugu Desam Party MPs are raring to strip the BJP naked on how it betrayed the trust of the people of the reorganised state of Andhra Pradesh by refusing to deliver Special Category Status and how it had gone back on the promises made in the AP State Reorganisation Act, 2014, when Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan takes up their motion for no-confidence against the NDA on Friday.
The party leaders, following the directions from their boss and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu from Amaravati, are getting their act together for the big day where they are also counting on the support of the Opposition parties that share similar wave length with them.
Though the NDA has requisite numbers in the Lower House, the TDP has pressed for the no confidence motion to focus on how the BJP had thrown the interests of the state to winds without any remorse. Ever since the Speaker announced that she would take up the no-confidence motion, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s Undavalli residence in Amaravati had become a bee-hive of activity. A Machiavellian that Naidu is, he quickly put together a strategy of causing maximum damage to the BJP though he knows that he would lose the motion in the end as numbers are stacked in favour of the NDA.
His seriousness in causing maximum impact on the BJP could be gauged from the fact that he did not mind even inviting former Congress MP Vundavalli Arun Kumar, who spared no effort in attacking Naidu all through his life, to his office and taking his suggestion on how he could hurt Modi the way no one had hurt him in the past.
Arun Kumar, readily gave him the grist that he was in need of – cornering and confronting Modi for not supporting AP though he himself had declared in February on the floor of Lok Sabha while giving reply to President Kovind’s address that the erstwhile UPA had done incalculable harm to Andhra Pradesh. At that time, his objective was to fix the Congress, but Arun Kumar advised Naidu to use the statement to his benefit and slam Modi as to why he was not keeping his word.
The day, however, was not without dose of a bit of tension to Chandrababu Naidu with JC Diwakar Reddy who has an axe to grind against his bete noire in Anantapur - V Prabhakar Chowdary - and feigned indignation at being sidelined by former Union Minister Sujana Chowdary. In fact, Diwakar Reddy wanted to use the occasion to press for issue of a GO for road widening in Anantapur which Anantapur MLA Prabhakar Chowdary is opposing tooth and nail as it involved removal of places of worship.
In the end, Diwakar Reddy had the last laugh when Naidu had the GO issued for road widening works as he had that it was too little a price to pay for his support for the no-confidence motion which is all that matters to him. Diwakar held out the threat that there was no point in him to attend Parliament since he does not speak neither Hindi nor English. Having got what he wanted, Diwakar Reddy flew to Delhi on Thursday evening to be present in Lok Sabha on Friday to support the motion.
With Guntur MP Galla Jayadev stealing the show while washing the dirty linen in the Lok Sabha last time, Naidu made a last-minute change of asking him to initiate the discussion on the no confidence motion. Earlier, Naidu wanted Vijayawada MP Kesineni Nani to start the discussion but had a change of mind in the last minute.
According to sources, BJP had got a lion’s share of three hours and 33 minutes to speak followed by 38 minutes for Congress, 29 minutes for AIMDK, 27 minutes for TMC, 15 minutes for BJD, 14 minutes for Shiv Sena, 13 minutes for TDP, nine minutes for TRS, seven minutes for CPM, six minutes for Samajwadi Party and six minutes for NCP.
Throughout the day, the TDP MPs were busy meeting the leaders of Opposition parties and handing over the letter which Naidu had addressed to all the MPs on why they should support the no-confidence motion by adding political muscle to the struggle that the TDP has been making for justice for the state.
The MPs, along with the letter, handed over a book the TDP had brought about on how the BJP had ditched the state by not delivering Special Category Status promised by the then prime minister Manmohan Singh at the time of the passage of the AP State Reorganisation Bill in February in 2014.
Naidu, in his letter to MPs, said “The then prime minster specially assured to accord Special Category Status to AP for a period of 5 years to put the finances of the state on a firmer footing to which BJP (the then Opposition Party), not only agreed but also demanded and assured to accord Special Category Status for a period of 10 years. This is not implemented till today on flimsy grounds”.
He deplored the BJP for not honouring promises made in its own manifesto which included not only conferring SCS but also implementing all the assurances made in the Act.