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In blow to Modi government, TDP quits NDA; moves no-confidence motion

The TDP, which is in power in the state, had yesterday offered to back the YSR Congress' no-confidence motion but said it withdrew the support as it smelt a nexus between it and the BJP.

Updated: Mar 17, 2018, 06.55 AM IST
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In blow to Modi government, TDP quits NDA coalition
Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP quit the NDA coalition today.
NEW DELHI: The Telugu Desam Party on Friday broke away from the National Democratic Alliance and joined ranks with arch-rival YSR Congress to move a no-confidence motion against the Centre. The step poses no threat to the BJP-led government at the Centre as the party has a majority on its own in the Lok Sabha.

TDP, which had earlier pulled out its ministers from the union Cabinet, did not want to cede any space to the YSR Congress on the locally emotive issue of obtaining special category status for Andhra Pradesh. The Speaker did not take up the motion on technical grounds that the House was not in order. YSR Congress MP YV Subba Reddy had written to the Lok Sabha secretary general on Thursday giving notice for moving a no-confidence motion against the council of ministers. The party had also asked TDP to support the move.

TDP, which has been feeling the heat from YSR Congress over the last few months, decided to make common cause with its rival.

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Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu announced Friday that TDP was withdrawing from NDA due to the Centre’s apathy towards the state, saying PM Modi did not meet him even once during his 29 visits to New Delhi to discuss the issue.

As a result, TDP MP Thota Narasimham also gave notice for moving a no-confidence motion Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan announced in the House that she has received the notice but could not take up the matter because Opposition members were crowding the well over different issues. She said the Chair will take up the issue on March 19.

On the numbers front, BJP is secure with 274 members, which excludes the Lok Sabha Speaker. For a no-confidence motion to qualify, at least 50 Lok Sabha MPs have to sign the letter.

TDP has 16 members while YSRCP has 9. Shiv Sena is yet to take a call but with Congress and NCP working on an alliance in Maharashtra, the hope in BJP is that Uddhav Thackeray may not go the distance.

Shiromani Akali Dal, LJP, RLSP, Apna Dal and JDU are part of the NDA and despite some nagging issues and differences, BJP insiders said, they would not want to topple the government. YSRCP and TDP are in the middle of a pitched battle in Andhra Pradesh.

The YSRCP’s sustained high-decibel campaign against TDP for failing to influence the Centre to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh despite being part of the NDA resulted in Naidu re-evaluating his political situation.

BJP, for its part, is now beginning to look at the positives like increasing its own footprint in the state, knowing well that it’s favourably positioned to reopen conversation with any of the two parties post 2019 depending on its overall performance in the general elections.
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