Launching a scathing attack on the government for not keeping its promises on financial assistance to bifurcated Andhra Pradesh, BJP ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Wednesday gave an ultimatum to the Centre to fulfil the same.
Participating in a debate on the Union Budget in the Lok Sabha, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP Jayadev Galla said they have been fulfilling the “alliance dharma” (with the National Democratic Alliance) since 2014, and after five Union Budgets have been presented, this is the last chance for Andhra Pradesh to get what it was promised ahead of its bifurcation to carve out a separate state of Telangana.
Galla hinted that if the party’s demands are not meant, the TDP will leave the alliance.
“We are allies — we fought the 2014 general elections together, based on the promises made to the people of Andhra Pradesh.
“We have maintained the alliance dharma for five budgets. This is the final chance to fulfil your promises and assurances. It is now or never. We understand you have numbers (of MPs) to render us irrelevant, but elections are fast approaching, (and) based on current trends the coming (2019) elections may be challenging,” he said.
“What message will it send to your allies? India has not seen the last days of coalition governments; what message do you want to send to allies and potential allies. Allies are feeling humiliated, as are the people of Andhra Pradesh,” the TDP leader said.
He also questioned if the Bharatiya Janata Party was thinking of tying up with the YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh. “You think YSR will be a better ally in Andhra?
“You can fool some of the people all the time, you can fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” he said.
Galla said the party demanded an explanation, failing which it would have no option but to consider that “you are acting in bad faith and we will have to reconsider why we are in this relation”.
The TDP member said he still had faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and said he was left with no other option but to raise the issue in this manner.
The TDP has been protesting in Parliament that the Centre has not given the promised financial assistance to Andhra Pradesh. TDP MPs protested in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday and Wednesday on the issue.