Hours after Union Minister Arun Jaitley said that special category status cannot be given to Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Wednesday evening announced that it would walk out of the NDA. Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu has directed TDP ministers Ashok Gajapathi Raju and YS Chowdary to resign as Union Ministers.
Two BJP ministers in TDP's cabinet - Pydikondala Manikyala Rao and Kamineni Srinivas - will also resign, said reports.
"This is our right. The centre is not fulfilling the promises it made..We have been raising the matter since the day of budget. But they (Central Government) did not respond..We have shown patience for 4 years. I tried to convince the centre by all means," Naidu said on Wednesday evening.
The decision came amid a persistent deadlock between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which leads the NDA, and the TDP over the issue, with the latter stalling Parliament for the third consecutive day.
Chandrababu Naidu had earlier said that the promise of special category status was the only reason for BJP-TDP alliance. TDP leaders have been vociferous over the special category status issue since Jaitley presented the Budget on February 1.
Jaitley had on Wednesday said that special category status cannot be given to Andhra, but added that a special package would be given to the state.
"We are willing to satisfy every condition. Only variation is that after Finance Commission report instead of formally calling it a special category state, we are calling it a special package, which gives same monetary benefits that a special category state gives you," he said.
In September last year, Naidu had accepted the special package announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Naidu has been attacking the BJP led Central government for not fulfilling the promises made in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.