With the Lok Sabha elections coming up next year, or possibly even earlier, the TDP is the latest to join an increasing number of NDA partners who have started raising their voice against what they claim is the uncaring attitude of the BJP.
After TDP accused the central government of not giving Andhra Pradesh its due in the Union Budget, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said: “There seems to be some kind of unhappiness, we will talk it out. TDP is an old ally of BJP, we will talk it out with them and tell them we are committed to the interests of Andhra Pradesh.”
The TDP’s anger comes 10 days after the Shiv Sena decided to go it alone in the Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly polls. While the TDP is the NDA’s lone constituent from the south, the Sena is the BJP’s oldest ally.
On Sunday, another NDA ally Shiromani Akali Dal accused the central government of “not giving due respect to alliance partners”, while turning around a key development slogan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to say that “there should be ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ in the alliance also”.
Speaking to The Indian Express, veteran SAD leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said: “The NDA is not giving due respect to alliance partners… The previous NDA government led by A B Vajpayee gave a lot of respect to Shiromani Akali Dal and appointed two governors and the minority commission chairman from among party leaders. There is nothing now that suggests an alliance — no chairmanship, no Governor… no one from SAD has even been appointed as a member of the minority commission.”
SAD Lok Sabha MP Prem Singh Chandumajra said the difference between the functioning of Vajpayee and Modi was apparent. “Coalition dharma is not being followed as it should have been. To some extent, the BJP winning absolute majority could be one of the reasons. Whenever we get a chance, we convey our concerns that this style of functioning should change and that there should be ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ in the alliance also,” he said.
In Bihar, RLSP leader Upendra Kushwaha recently shared the stage with Opposition RJD leaders at an event to demand better quality in the state’s educational institutions. The RLSP is said to be unhappy over the BJP reviving its alliance with the JD(U), with Kushwaha indicating that his party may contest in all 40 Lok Sabha Seats in Bihar.
At the Sena’s national executive on January 23, its chief Uddhav Thackeray slammed the BJP and claimed that the central government was “continuously lying”.
On Sunday, addressing a gathering in Marathwada, Thackeray said: “We were with the BJP with the understanding that they would take care of the nation while we would do the same at the state. However, they are now in control of the nation and have also entered our house. People know what is to be done to intruders who enter our households.”
Uddhav’s remarks come in the backdrop of unconfirmed reports that he had received a call from Naidu on Saturday. Thackeray, who held several rallies in the Marathwada region on Sunday, did not make any reference to talks with the TDP.