Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party is facing some major ally trouble. After Shiv Sena announced that it would part ways with the ruling party to contest elections in 2019 alone, another National Democratic Alliance (NDA) constituent Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is now up in arms against the government.
Miffed over budget allocation for Andhra Pradesh, the TDP has said that the collection of SS Rajamouli’s film Baahubali was more than what the central government gave to the state.
Talking to news agency ANI, TDP leader Jayadev Galla said, “Rs 1800 crore is what the government gave specifically to Andhra Pradesh in budget and Baahubali's collection is more than that. We received less than what a movie collected.”
Referring to the NDA alliance, he added, “If they (Narendra Modi government) can treat their allies like this, then many people will not want to be their allies in future.”
Following the budget announcement by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 1, the TDP had expressed anger over the funds allotted to Andhra Pradesh, with the state government saying that it would continue to put pressure on the Centre for additional allocation.
This even led to reports of TDP wanting to end alliance with the BJP, but the party declared that the split would be on hold after a meeting between Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and other TDP members at the party’s Parliamentary Board meeting in Amravati.
"During the meeting Budget and fund allocations to Andhra Pradesh were discussed. We will continue pressuring the Centre for it. We will also raise the matter in Parliament, if needed," Andhra Minister YS Chowdary said after the meeting.
The minister further denied reports of the CM speaking to BJP president Amit Shah or Shiv Sena. "CM N Chandrababu Naidu did not speak to Shiv Sena. There has been no communication between Amit Shah and the CM either," Chowdary said.
The TDP is BJP's biggest ally in the South. The two parties had fought the 2014 elections in alliance where the TDP had emerged as the second largest party in the NDA in terms of seats won.
After Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the Budget on February 1, several TDP leaders had suggested that the party should break away from the alliance.
Naidu had reportedly expressed "serious displeasure" over the budget and had said that the Centre ignored the state. "Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad got a substantial allocation for various projects but none of our projects, including the Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam Metro rail, got anything," he was quoted to have said at the meeting.
(With agency inputs)