NEW DELHI: The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) moved a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government in the Lok Sabha on Friday, 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 the BJP terming the decision by Andhra Pradesh’s ruling party to quit the NDA “inevitable”.
The BJP, 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.
“We’ve quit the NDA. I took the decision, not for selfish reasons,but for interests of Andhra Pradesh. For four years I made all efforts, went to Delhi 29 times,asked many times. This was Centre’s last budget and there was no mention of Andhra Pradesh,we had to pull our ministers out of cabinet,” Naidu told the state assembly.
The TDP, which is in power in the state, had on Thursday 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.
On March 9, two TDP ministers had 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 9.30am,” Thota Narasimham, the TDP’s floor leader in the Lok Sabha, told reporters.
He said the letters would go out to the 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 the parties.
“We have no confidence in their no-confidence motion, so we have decided to go on our own,” Ramesh 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.”
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.
The Congress and Left leaders said they will 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 his party would also support the motion but asked the two regional parties not to 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 the 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.