Churning post TDP withdrawal
As expected, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) pulled out of the NDA on Friday on the issue of special category status to Andhra Pradesh and sought to move a no-confidence motion against the Narendra the Modi-led NDA government at the Centre. TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu said that he did not make the decision for selfish reasons. He made the decision in the interest of Andhra Pradesh, he said. Ever since the general budget was introduced by Arun Jaitley in Parliament, TDP was livid at Andhra Pradesh not being given the promised special package for the losses it has to incur due to the bifurcation of Telangana. The Centre did not provide any special benefits to the state in its annual budget on the arguments that such favours may prompt Bihar and Jharkhand to raise similar demands. Regional Parties and YSR Congress Party leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy had already announced to bring a no-confidence motion against the Modi government for ditching the state on special category status. TDP had no option but to go along with the opposition and attack the NDA government it has been supporting for past four years. TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said that he tried to persuade the Centre to accord a special status to Andhra Pradesh for all these four years, but the Centre apparently did not do anything special for the state. The Assembly elections are due next year and no party is ready to let go an opportunity against the other parties. YSR Congress accuses both the TDP and the BJP of cheating the people of the state while TDP blames the BJP. However, BJP has maintained that Andhra Pradesh is going to be next Tripura, alluding to the landslide victory the party has just registered in the state. The party attacked Naidu for not realising for last four years that NDA was not the right platform for him or for the cause of special category status to Andhra Pradesh. The people of the state will see through his gimmicks and teach him a lesson in the Assembly elections in 2019, the BJP believes. As the opposition's attempt to move a no-confidence motion against the Modi government rocked the two houses of the Parliament, Congress and Trinamool Congress voiced their support for Naidu and the Andhra Pradesh cause. The stage is ready for an all-out face-off between the government and the opposition parties. The political environment that was much in favour of the government in the aftermath of the Northeast election results is suddenly being dominated by the opposition activities. First, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati announced support for SP candidates in the Gorakhpur-Phulpur Lok Sabha by-elections. The coming together of BSP in SP in Uttar Pradesh is an epoch-making moment given the baggage of acrimony between the two parties. But not only did they come together, they went on to defeat BJP on both the seats. The two seats were earlier represented by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. Adityanath attributed the losses to overconfidence and not being able to comprehend the caste arithmetic of the poll alliances. In a dramatic comeback, Mayawati has shown that her sway over Dalit votes continues and she can still tilt the balance and make BJP suffer. What is noteworthy is that BJP has lost in most of the by-elections in West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar in recent months. BJP's poor performance in these elections points to the diminishing popularity of BJP some of the big states in the country. It is a matter of concern for the party as these big sates have the numbers to upset BJP's comeback following the 2019 general elections. The party has, however, won Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, and Tripura. In Nagaland and Meghalaya, the party is in power in alliance with regional parties. The party is in power in 20 states and 15 Chief Ministers are from BJP.
There is no harm to the NDA government at the Centre even after TDP has pulled walked of it. But this has certainly set in motion a process for every NDA constituent to introspect and take a call whether they want to continue in NDA or not as the nation prepares for a fresh election mid-next year.