The Telugu Desam Party moved a no-confidence motion against the government in the Lok Sabha today, hours after party president N Chandrababu Naidu announced in Amaravati that the party was exiting the National Democratic Alliance.
The government exuded confidence that it has the numbers to ride out the crisis with BJP terming the decision by Andhra Pradesh’s ruling party to quit the NDA “inevitable”.
The party, which claimed this provided an opportunity for it to grow in the state, faces the prospect of going it alone in the elections in Andhra Pradesh next year with the two main regional parties TDP and YSR Congress against it.
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.
The YSR Congress’ motion is pending.
Two TDP ministers had earlier resigned from the Narendra Modi government following the Centre’s refusal to grant Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh.
“We go according to principles. Our leader felt being part of NDA and moving a no-confidence motion would not be ethical. So we withdrew from the NDA and I have issued a letter on no-confidence motion to the speaker at 9.30 am,” Thota Narasimham, the TDP’s floor leader in the Lok Sabha, told reporters.
He said letters would go out to BJP leaders about the party’s decision to exit the alliance.
His party colleague Ramesh claimed that YSR Congress MP Vijaysai Reddy was seen making attempts to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and this, he said, hinted at a nexus between both parties.
“We have no confidence in their no-confidence motion, so we have decided to go on our own,” he said.
“If it is not taken due to lack of time today, on Monday we will get signatures from 54 MPs from various other parties and push for a no-confidence motion vigorously,” Ramesh said.
The motion can be accepted only if it has the support of at least 50 members in the House.
While the TDP has 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha, the YSR Congress has nine.
Congress and Left leaders said they would support the motion against the government.
“When the Andhra parties bring a no confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, we will support it,” Mohammad Salim of the CPI(M) said.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge added that the party would also support the motion but asked the two regional parties to not play politics over the matter.
As the opposition counted its numbers, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the whole country has full confidence in Modi as does the House.
“The government has the numbers… We are ready to take up everything,” he said.
With the BJP alone having 274 members in the 536-member Lok Sabha and enjoying support of allies, the no-confidence motion, if accepted, is likely to be defeated but it has the potential to put the saffron party in a tight corner in the state.
BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao accused the TDP of resorting to “lies to cover up its inept and inert governance”.
The TDP’s decision to quit, he said, was inevitable after its “mischievous propaganda” against the Centre.
The TDP politburo unanimously took the decision during a tele-conference with party supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu this morning. PTI