Is Modi govt giving step-motherly treatment to states ruled by opposition parties?
New Delhi, April 4: The biggest challenge the Narendra Modi government at the Centre is facing today is the "united protest" lodged by all the opposition parties. After the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) left the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government over the issue of grant of special category status to Andhra Pradesh, almost all the opposition parties have decided to join hands to fight the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections together.
Continuing with its efforts to bring together all opposition parties under one roof, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said that regional parties must join hands with the TDP to raise concerns over the "injustice" meted out by the NDA government at the Centre to states ruled by opposition parties.
The TDP chief, on his first visit to Delhi after his party snapped ties with the ruling NDA, said his priority was to press the Centre to give a special status and funds to Andhra Pradesh.
"Today my priority is my state. We quit the NDA because the government was ignoring our demands. This is injustice," Naidu, who met several opposition leaders in the national capital on Tuesday, said.
The CM also had discussions with Hema Malini and Jayant Sinha of the BJP and leaders of some NDA allies. He pointed out that regional and Left parties had supported the TDP's efforts in Parliament to bring in a no-confidence motion.
"We are thankful to them. We need their support to pressure the Centre so that states are not ignored." Naidu said. A TDP leader said Naidu had told his party MPs that he would not "beg" for a special status for Andhra Pradesh and that there was little chance of any kind of a reconciliation with the NDA.
Naidu, who met the party leaders in Parliament, also discussed the special status issue with Left leaders. "We all met. We discussed the issue of a special status for Andhra Pradesh.We also questioned the trustworthiness of the Prime Minister. We discussed how frustrating it is for members of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh," CPI(M) leader Mohammad Salim said after meeting Naidu.
He said the Left leaders assured Naidu that they supported him. "We said we are all with him.We should all combine the issues and take on the government on the floor of the house rather than going to the well. He was very appreciative of that," Salim said, adding that Naidu endorsed the proposal to move together.
Naidu also had a "fruitful meeting" with Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders on the opposition strategy followed in Parliament which helped the TDP garner support from other parties.
"Naidu thanked the TMC for its strong support to the no-confidence motion notice brought in by the TDP," TMC MP Derek O'Brien said. Among the other issues discussed by Naidu and the leaders were the proposals of the 15th Finance Commission and coordination between like-minded parties.
He also met leaders from the Congress, SP, BSP, AIADMK, DMK and Shiv Sena. Naidu met Veerappa Moily of the Congress, Sharad Pawar of the NCP and Harsimrat Kaur Badal of SAD.
The meetings that took place at the Central Hall of Parliament were aimed at garnering support for the no-confidence motion against the NDA government.
Naidu met Farooq Abdullah (NC), Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC), D Raja (CPI), V Maitreyan (AIADMK), Anupriya Patel (Apna Dal) and Ram Gopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party), among others, a statement issued by the chief minister's media unit said.