TDP walks out of Govt: Why fallout poses a challenge to BJP’s numbers count for 2019

The TDP decision to pull out its ministers from the Modi government not only plays a spoiler in BJP celebrations over its electoral gains in three north-eastern states, but holds considerable significance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Here's why.

Written by Ravish Tiwari | New Delhi | Updated: March 8, 2018 11:51 am
TDP pulls out ministers from the Modi government, to affect NDA in 2019 Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP chief Amit Shah (File Photo)

The TDP decision to pull out its ministers from the Modi government not only plays a spoiler in BJP celebrations over its electoral gains in three north-eastern states but, for the long term, clouds the ruling NDA’s poll fortunes in Andhra Pradesh which sends 25 members to Lok Sabha — a number that matches seats from all of North-East in the Lower House.

Though the TDP chief has not announced parting of ways with the NDA, his public reference to the sense of hurt in Andhra Pradesh following Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s terse remarks on TDP demands and the non-availability of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take his calls indicate the widening distance between these two pre-poll partners of 2014.

Read | TDP walks out of Govt, Chandrababu Naidu puts NDA on notice ahead of 2019

BJP sources suggested that the TDP move to pull out its ministers from the Centre amounts to breaking the alliance because BJP ministers in the Naidu government too are likely to withdraw from the state government.

“It becomes untenable for our ministers to continue in the Chandrababu government in the state,” a senior BJP leader said after the TDP announcement.

TDP pulls out ministers from the Modi government, to affect NDA in 2019 Members demand special category status for Andhra Pradesh outside Parliament on Monday (Express Photo)

The late night political development holds considerable significance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In terms of Lok Sabha seats, BJP and TDP together have 17 Lok Sabha members from the state — the remaining eight are from the YSR Congress Party. In the long term, BJP runs the risk of being further marginalised for having disregarded the sentiments of Andhra Pradesh the same way the Congress got sidelined after pushing the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. The Congress does not have a single Lok Sabha seat from Andhra Pradesh.

Express ExplainedHere’s what has put the TDP’s ties with the BJP under strain

While a section of the BJP toyed with the option of aligning with TDP rival YSR Congress Party, that option seems to have been pre-empted by Naidu. Sources pointed out that the YSRCP cannot be seen doing business with the BJP which the ruling TDP is now accusing of reneging on the promise to Andhra Pradesh. Any new arrangement will now be possible after 2019.

A senior BJP functionary, however, drew attention to the fact that there was still time left to salvage the situation. “It is almost a year before elections. That is a long time. Let us see how the politics evolve in the state. Whether it is a setback or opportunity for the party will depend on the way things develop during the next one year,” the functionary said. Another BJP central functionary said: “This is an opportunity for the party to grow in the state where we were being relegated to a marginal player by the TDP.”

In this context, BJP leaders claimed that the TDP chief was rattled by the YSRCP’s growing traction — the latter had already announced its would get its members to resign from Parliament next month if the government did not grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh.

TDP leaders, however, suggested that they had to take this step to neutralise public sentiments which it felt was one of being let down by the Modi government over the denial of special category status.

“There has been a competitive race among the parties (TDP, YSRCP and Congress) in the state to tap into the sentiment of hurt which has continued from the bifurcation of the state. BJP will place the facts in the public domain to tell how the central government has extended all help to benefit the state,” BJP spokesman G V L Narasimha Rao told The Indian Express.

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  1. thinkngrow right
    Mar 9, 2018 at 7:01 am
    Modi will pay the price for exhibiting his personal vendetta against the state of AP. It was Naidu as NDA convenor, who first called for the ousting of Gujarat govt during the Godhra riots. He didn't give the appointment to the Gujarat CM, even for a meeting at the Delhi Airport. Vajpayee agreed to the ousting and if not for Advani then that tried to pacify Naidu Vajpayee, Modi would have been an RSS worker somewhere in the country. Of course, later Advani got backstabbed by his own disciple that he protected so much. When Naidu stated that the Gujarat CM followed his steps in embracing technology and governance in the then PM candidate's presence, Modi's ego got hurt and taking the revenge now against the state. Well, Karma is a and he will bite the dust soon after 2019 elections for his egoistic mistakes. He denied the AP state of all it's natural benefits that were awarded during the state reorganization act.
    1. S
      Mar 8, 2018 at 4:21 pm
      1. Jagar Singh
        Mar 8, 2018 at 7:51 pm
        Only 31 per cent at best of the wave. It is far less now. Your claim is false.
        1. Egg Head
          Mar 15, 2018 at 5:08 pm
          Stop this 'sir', 'sir' cult, because this 'SIR' sir chadhke bolta hai. Englishman left, left behind a legacy called sir. What is wrong with saying Modiji,unless you are allergic to ji(G) . I am not in complete agreement with your views, but if continues to rule in 2019 well good, otherwise past history of earlier rulers is there due to which we are suffering 7 will continue to suffer for decades. What happens in ensuing Lok Sabha elections is not known now, but a trailer will appear when 4 or 5 states go to polls this year. the recently concluded by elections can't be called a trailer don't speak like a toady-nobody can speak for 125 crore countrymen.
        2. S
          S kumar
          Mar 8, 2018 at 3:09 pm
          This man, C B Naidu (Chandrababu) is a known bargainer, backstabber, back tracker and blackmailer. He did same type tactics during previous NDA under Ataljee for package, he got the package then he brought Andhra pride and eventually walked away from NDA. These type of regional parties needs huge funds to function and he himself needs funds, these types of parties resort to such tactics whether its TDP, TRS, AIDMK, DMK, JDS, RLD, INLD, SP-BSP, RJD etc., Center (BJP) shouldn't bog down and concede to their demand rather strengthen the party in Andhra and go to the people and explain the facts. Looking forward BJP should contest the election in Andhra alone and get C B I for C B Naidu
          1. S
            Mar 15, 2018 at 4:50 pm
            You seems to be day dreaming. Do you think BJP can win on their own in south? They cannot win even 5 seats if they contest on their own from entire south. By the way what A.P. is asking is not alms they are demanding their due
            1. Egg Head
              Mar 15, 2018 at 5:10 pm
              If not alms, then why can't every state be given special status along with every man in the street! Why special status for VVIPs only to some states?
          2. Mark S
            Mar 8, 2018 at 1:01 pm
            Good riddance for Naidu. And more importantly, this break up will lead to good riddance of Modi. Hail Mary
            1. Egg Head
              Mar 15, 2018 at 5:11 pm
              While I don't fully appreciate your views, but your sense of humor is worth praising. Sound comments.
            2. A
              Mar 8, 2018 at 12:59 pm
              In my view, TDP will be known as a blackmail party. The central government has made it clear that all cons utional obligations are being met and it fulfil all The promises made during bifurcation. This habit of using n dumping after the use is not fair.
              1. R
                Mar 8, 2018 at 4:02 pm
                First of all are you from AP or from an Alien Nation? If you are a person from AP you will know the hurt feeling. May be you are from a State North of Vindhyas.
                1. Egg Head
                  Mar 15, 2018 at 5:14 pm
                  He is from nowhere, but he is 'Ashok' may not be using 'SAMRAT' as prefix.
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