Five MPs from the YSR Congress Party submitted their resignations to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Friday, the last day of the budget session of Parliament, over the Union government’s ‘failure’ to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh. The MPs have disrupted proceedings in the House for the last 22 days, and were the first party to move a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government over the issue. The Lok Sabha adjourned sine die today.
The MPs who tendered their resignations are Varaprasad Rao Velagapalli, Y V Subba Reddy, P V Midhun Reddy, Y S Avinash Reddy and Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy. Addressing the media a day before, they expressed outrage over their pending no-trust motion, which could not be moved due to continuous disruptions. “YSRCP has given notices for no-confidence motion 12 times and not even once it was taken up for discussion,” Velagapalli was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
YSRC chief Jagan Mohan Reddy had previously said that the MPs would quit on the last day of the session to put pressure on the government to take action. “Our MPs will resign on the last day of the budget session and march to Andhra Bhavan in New Delhi, where they will sit on an indefinite fast demanding special status,” he had said last week.
SCS is our right! If not granted, YSRCP MPs will resign the day Parliament is adjourned sine die & go on an indefinite hunger strike at AP Bhawan,New Delhi. In the interest of AP&for future of our youth @ncbn make TDP MPs resign as well. YSRCP will continue its fight for SCS(2/2)
— YS Jagan Mohan Reddy (@ysjagan) April 2, 2018
Regional parties from the Andhra Pradesh are at loggerheads with the Centre over granting special status to the state. Ruling party Telugu Desam Party (TDP) pulled out two of its ministers from the Union Cabinet last month, and quit the NDA alliance over the issue. In an interview to The Indian Express, TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu targeted the BJP and asked, “You (BJP) wanted to make me a fool. What was your intention, hidden agenda?’
The MPs decision to quit today will pose a tough challenge to the BJP, which is trying to consolidate its position in the south. BJP chief Amit Shah had, in a letter to Naidu, had 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 Andhra Pradesh?”
The Congress-led Opposition, meanwhile, held a protest outside Parliament yesterday against the BJP government raising several issues including atrocities against Dalits, farmer distress, the Centre’s inaction in constitution of a Cauvery Management Board and granting special status for Andhra Pradesh.