After striking a strident posture during the last two days and even hinting at moving out of the BJP-led NDA, the Telugu Desam Party softened its stand on Sunday, with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh calling up Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
Mr. Singh phoned Mr. Naidu when he was holding a crucial Telugu Desam Parliamentary Party meeting to chalk out a strategy to build pressure on the Centre to address the main grievance of ignoring Andhra Pradesh in the Union Budget.
Mr. Singh is believed to have urged Mr. Naidu not to take any hasty step and the Centre understood the State’s problems.
Shah to speak to Naidu
He also told him that BJP president Amit Shah would speak to him “on all issues.”
From the talk of “we will not hesitate to exercise the last option of pulling out of the alliance” till Saturday, when they came out of the meeting on Sunday the TDP MPs spoke of “mounting pressure on the Centre to redress our grievance.” But till Mr. Singh spoke, Mr. Naidu reportedly adopted a tough line, asking the MPs to fight it out in Parliament.
He wanted them to raise their voice collectively in a manner reflecting the feelings of the people of the State. “You know the people’s sentiment here and you should take it there and exert pressure on the Centre. We want action not mere assurances. From now on I will review daily how the MPs are raising issues pertaining to the State in Parliament and how the Centre is responding to them.”
“There is demand for resignation of Ministers and MPs but all it takes is a minute to do that but will it resolve the issues faced by the State,” he reportedly told the MPs. He recalled how he visited New Delhi over 20 times, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley several times to take up various issues affecting the State. “Several of them remain pending though we waited patiently for over three years now.”
Earlier briefing media persons about the meeting, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y.S. Chowdary said the TDP would not go to the extent of breaking the alliance with the BJP.
Instead, the TDP MPs would raise the State’s issues in Parliament.