Hyderabad: With no sign of the Modi government softening on allocation of more funds to Andhra Pradesh, despite continuing protest by lawmakers from the state, the state chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu has directed his MPs to step up their protest and mount pressure on India’s central government.
Naidu, who has severely criticised the meagre allocations in the Union Budget for his state, told the MPs in a teleconference they should continue their protest inside the House even if it triggered a suspension by the Speaker.
Naidu’s call came a day after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely defended the budgetary allocations and brushed aside the criticism from Andhra Pradesh.
TDP members in both the Houses of Parliament were staging vociferous protests demanding justice to Andhra Pradesh, including bigger allocations for projects like the Polavaram Dam and the new capital city, Amravati.
As part of the protest outside the Parliament one TDP MP N. Sivaprasad caught the attention of the onlookers by staging a sit-in while wearing the garb of a priest with a wig of long hair and chanting hymns.
With other TDP MPs holding the placards, Sivaprasad told the media that in 2014 Narendra Modi had promised in the name of Hindu deities Venkateshwara in Tirupati and Kanaka Durga in Vijayawada to do justice to Andhra Pradesh.
“Now he is insulting the [deities] by forgetting those promises,” he said warning that the fate of the Congress party will befall on the BJP in Andhra Pradesh.
Union minister Y.V. Chowdhary of Telugu Desam also had an argument with Arun Jaitely in the lobbies of Parliament.
When Chowdhary confronted him seeking justice to AP, a flustered Jaitely asked him why the TDP was not satisfied despite his making statements in Parliament twice.
An unhappy Chowdhary retorted, “We cannot mislead the people with empty statements. Parties will come and go but we will have to fulfil the promises made to the people. You should give respect to the parties and not only to their strength”.
Friday was the last day of Parliament before almost a month long recess and the TDP MPs will resume their protest when the Parliament meet again from March 5.