24 March, New Delhi
BJP president Amit Shah has said the Telugu Desam Party quitting the NDA was ”guided by wholly and solely by political considerations” instead of developmental concerns and it was “unfortunate” and “unilateral”.
In an open letter written to TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu on Friday, Mr Shah said,”BJP has been firm believer in the concept of politics of performance and ‘development for all’ has been our guiding principle.
Addressing reporters here on Saturday, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said for the last few weeks there has been a campaign of calumny and political propaganda unleashed by political parties in Andhra Pradesh, adding that there was a element of political escapism in what step Mr Naidu has taken. Mr Rao said how the Centre has shown its sensitivity towards Andhra Pradesh can be seen by indisputable facts.
”The TDP is running away from reality and living in a imaginary world that they want to create for their own benefit,”he said. Mr Rao said they have taken all facts and figures, which were already in public domain, to the people of Andhra Pradesh like the 14th Finance Commission Report.
”Andhra Pradesh figures very prominently on our agenda of national development. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left no stone unturned in ensuring the growth and prosperity of Andhra Pradesh,” Mr Shah has pointed out in the letter.
”Since the discussion of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh till present, it is the BJP that has led the voice of safeguarding the welfare of the people in both the Telugu states,” he said.
Alleging that the Congress has historic apathy towards Telugu people, Mr Shah said, ”This (BJP’s sensitivity) is in direct contrast to the Congress party which not only mismanaged the bifurcation but also showed zero sensitivity towards the Telugu people which is in line with their historic apathy to the Telugu community.”Mr Shah reminded the TDP chief that when, during the previous Lok Sabha, his party did not have adequate representation, it was the Saffron party that set the agenda and ensured that justice was done to the Telugu people in Andhra and Telangana.
”Since the party has come to rule at the Centre, TDP has been integral part of NDA and the coalition has nurtured the new Andhra with the spirit that it has suffered during the bifurcation,” Mr Shah has written, adding that ”There is an element of sensitivity and firm commitment for the cause of state’s development in the way the NDA government at the Cenre has worked for Andhra Pradesh.”The BJP President said that due to the weak financial position of Andhra Pradesh, the 14th Finance Commission awarded to the State Revenue Deficit grants to the tune of Rs 22,113 crore covering the overall revenue deficit for five years. ”Andhra Pradesh is the only state to receive the award of revenue deficit grants for all the five years period from 2015 to 2020 besides the eight north-eastern and hilly states. Does that not show that Modi Government has been sensitive to the needs of the state?” he said.
Mr Shah also wished people of Andhra Pradesh on the occasion of Ugadi.
Mr Rao said the TDP chief has written a letter to Mr Shah when he quit NDA, but ”we are stating the facts and figures which cannot be contradicted.”The TDP, once the BJP’s biggest ally in south, pulled out of the government earlier this month over the special status demand.
The TDP is also trying to bring a no-confidence motion against the government in Parliament but it has not been taken up as the Houses were being adjourned due to constant pandemonium.
Elections are due in Andhra Pradesh assembly next year and regional parties, including the YSR Congress, have been repeatedly attacking the TDP for not being able to secure a special category status for the state.
Mr Naidu has said Andhra was promised a special category status, but the Centre has refused what it was promised.