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TDP ministers resign over Modi govt's refusal of special status to Andhra Pradesh

Friday March 9, 2018 0:24 AM, & Agencies

Modi with Naidu

New Delhi: Two Telugu Desam Party (TDP) ministers on Thursday resigned from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet after they could not persuade the government to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju and Minister of State for Science and Technology YS Chowdary went to the residence of the Prime Minsiter and handed him their resignation letters. They however said that the TDP will continue to support the Modi government from outside.

Soon after Naidu's announcement last night, BJP President Amit Shah spoke to the party's Andhra Pradesh Chief K Hari Babu instructing him that the party's ministers in the Andhra Pradesh government, Srinivasa Rao and T Manikyala Rao, must resign. Consequently, they resigned on Thursday morning.

Trouble began between the BJP and TDP after the demands of the letter could not find a mention in the 2018-19 Union Budget. According to reports, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had called Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday before taking the decision. However, the prime minister reportedly was not available.

Later the TDP decided to pull out from the government after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the needed funds could be made available for the state, but granting special status will not be possible. A last ditch effort by Modi to broker peace in a 10-minute long phone call with Naidu also failed.

According to sources, Naidu told Modi that he was left with no option but to resign from the government after Jaitley ruled out granting special status to the state. The TDP has 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha and four in the Rajya Sabha. TDP lawmaker Ravindra Babu had earlier told NDTV that the next "logical step" for his party is to exit the alliance.

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