Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today welcomed the TDP’s decision to quit the NDA and urged all opposition parties to work closely together against “atrocities, economic calamities and political instability”.
I appeal to all political parties in the Opposition to work closely together against atrocities, economic calamity and political instability
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) March 16, 2018
Banerjee’s remark came after the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) this morning formally decided to exit the Narendra Modi government over the Centre’s refusal to grant Andhra Pradesh Special Category Status (SCS).
“I welcome the TDP’s decision to leave the NDA. The current situation warrants such action to save the country from disaster,” the TMC supremo said in a tweet.
“I appeal to all political parties in the Opposition to work closely together against atrocities, economic calamity and political instability,” Banerjee said.
The TDP is also likely to move a no-confidence motion against the Modi government over the injustice meted out to the state.
The party’s politburo unanimously took the decision during a teleconference with party supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Behind the stage, however, the BJP is already in talks with the YSR Congress Party. This provoked the decision of Naidu even as he faced flak from other quarters of Andhra Pradesh politics. Actor-turned-politician and Jana Sena party chief Pawan Kalyan made serious allegations of corruption against Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh at a public meeting in Guntur two days ago.
“Instead of giving what Andhra Pradesh people are rightfully asking for, the BJP is resorting to using Jagan Mohan Reddy and Pawan Kalyan against us,” Naidu said.
“This is the final option. The CM is livid that instead of resolving issues faced by the state, the BJP is indulging in dirty politics that it played in Tamil Nadu,’’ TDP leader Kambhampati Rammohan Rao said.
Naidu faces a tough challenge on his home turf as the TDP is not the sole claimant of Telugu pride. Jaganmohan Reddy and Pawan Kalyan also are in the fray.
Besides, there are administrative issues in offering Andhra Pradesh a special status.
Former bureaucrat Shantanu Basu wrote on Facebook recently:
“Except for Sikkim and, to some extent, Uttarakhand, very few other special category States (SCS) have succeeded in attracting private investment aside from improving their infrastructure. However, SCS status has become a byword for giant loot and pillage.”
“States have fraudulently drawn lakhs of crore of rupees and subjected them to arbitrary misuse and misapplication, throwing accountability to the winds. Bogus utilisation certificates have been wantonly accepted by Union government ministries — that raise great doubts about their integrity too — and that of their ministers as well (and that includes the MoF).”
“If one were to put all sanctions for grants-in-aid — say for roads — over a span of three decades, the balance sheet would not tally. That is to say that the official statistics and claimed achievement have huge margins of difference. Extend this to each and every sphere, and one would be looking askance at lakhs of crore rupees siphoned off, embezzled, simply vanished into thin air. If one looks at the annual reports of SCS states, it would not be unusual to find most of these states at the bottom of generally accepted QLI parameters.”
“It is not without reason that the Panama Papers exposed a huge number of bank accounts, nearly all of which were associated with persons located in these very States or having dealings with these State governments.”
“Insofar as united Andhra Pradesh is concerned, it is ironical that a bifurcated State today is demanding SCS status. Naidu’s last term as chief minister saw all effort concentrated in Hyderabad, with precious little elsewhere. This was also responsible for his defeat in the next Assembly election.”
“What is even more ironical is that coastal Andhra Pradesh (Seemandhra) gave the short shrift to Telangana over several decades that ultimately led to the bifurcation. Huge corruption was reported by the CAG and several investigative agencies during both the Naidu and YS Rajasekhar Reddy regimes, but all were safely brushed under the carpet.” [the full analysis].