TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday targeted the Centre for adopting a ‘divide and rule’ policy and trying to split the Opposition. He led a cycle rally in Amaravati in protest against the Centre’s refusal to grant special status to the state. TDP members participated in the six-kilometre rally, which began at Venkatapalem village till the state assembly complex, reported news agency PTI.
“The BJP is adopting a divide-and-rule policy. It is trying to cause split in the Opposition,” Naidu was quoted as saying by PTI.
— ANI (@ANI) April 6, 2018
Naidu, referring to the YSR Congress’ decision to ask its MPs to resign from the Lok Sabha, said they were running away from the fight, reported PTI. Five MPs from the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led party submitted their resignations to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today, the last day of the budget session, over the Centre’s ‘failure’ to grant the state special status.
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Last month, Naidu withdrew support from the NDA fold, and asked two of his leaders to resign from the Union Cabinet. MPs in both Houses of Parliament have been disrupting proceedings in a bid to put pressure on the government to act on the issue. Naidu has now directed his MPs to approach President Ram Nath Kovind regarding the same.
In an interview to The Indian Express, Naidu said the Centre has failed to keep its promises. “I am cautioning all the parties that you did bifurcation without proper scientific study. Is it not the responsibility of Parliament to see that the promises made on the floor of the House are kept ? You will have to answer,” he said.
The TDP and the BJP-led government have failed to see eye-to-eye on the issue of special status for Andhra. Naidu says the Centre’s inaction in implementing the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 has created hurdles for the state to develop. Andhra leaders say the bifurcation of the state in 2014 has left the state at a disadvantage and a revenue deficit. It is demanding a level playing field in the form of Special Category Status, and central assistance.
The Centre, meanwhile, maintained that it has been sensitive to the needs of the state. BJP chief Amit Shah recently said, “Andhra Pradesh is the only state to receive the award of revenue deficit grants for all the five years besides the north-eastern and hilly states. Does that not show that the Central Government has been sensitive to the needs of the state?”
(With inputs from PTI)