Former NDA ally and a prime mover of the no-confidence motion against the BJP-led ruling alliance, The Telugu Desam Party, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “deceiving” the people of Andhra Pradesh by not giving it the promised special category status, saying it was fighting a war between “morality and majority.”
Initiating the debate during the motion in the Lok Sabha, Telugu Desam Party member Jayadev Galla said the residual state had been denied justice since “unscientific bifurcation” of Andhra Pradesh in 2014.
Mr Galla, who was speaking on behalf of his colleague Kesineni Srinavas whose notice of no-confidence motion was accepted by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, thanked Opposition parties, including Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Aam Aadmi Party, CPI-M and AIMIM, for supporting the motion.
Mr Galla said the people of Andhra Pradesh were tired of unfulfilled promises, and that the motion provided a litmus test for Parliament to fulfill the promises made.
Mr Galla began his speech by stating that it was for the first time that a first-time MP has got a chance to move a motion of no-confidence.
He said seeking justice for the people of the state was a “dharma yudha.” Mr Galla said BJP President Amit Shah had told party leaders from Andhra Pradesh in March to wage a war on TDP.
“It is now war between BJP and TDP. It is a war between majority and morality, It is a war between the Modi regime and 5 crore people of Andhra Pradesh.
It is a war against discrimination showed by the Modi regime towards AP, it is a war to honour the assurances made by PM in Parliament, it is a war between authoritarian Machiavellian attitude of the Modi regime and the rights of states that make up the federal Republic of India. It is a Dharma Yudh,” Mr Galla said.
Mr Galla, who is MP from Guntur, said the people were tired of the empty assurances and unfulfilled commitments.
Reeling out statistics, Mr Galla forcefully articulated the party”s stance, saying the last four years have posed tremendous challenges for the “new state with an old name”.
“It is not prudent to say that the issues of Andhra Pradesh are not national issues. It is also an emotional issue for people of the state,” he said.
“We need relief, but the Modi government is posing new challenges for us. Andhra Pradesh is also languishing in services,” he said.
Mr Galla, who faced some disruptions during his speech from Telangana Rashtra Samiti members, said that the promise of special category state for five years to the residual state of Andhra Pradesh was given by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Rajya Sabha in 2014.
“Do you have any respect for commitment made by your predecessor,” he asked Prime Minister Modi.
He referred to Prime Minister Modi’s election speeches in Andhra Pradesh in the run-up to 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when TDP was aligned with BJP, and said the BJP leader had asked people if they wanted to vote for clean, corruption-free Andhra Pradesh “by voting for us or choose to go for the rival opposition party and push Andhra Pradesh into corruption.”
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom we trusted so dearly has deceived the state,” he said.
“(Narendra) Modi while campaigning in Andhra Pradesh had said ”Congress killed the mother and saved the child”. Had I been there, I would have saved the mother too”. People of Andhra Pradesh have waited for four long years for him to save their mother,” he added.
Mr Galla accused the BJP of changing its stance on the special category status. “It will be decimated in Andhra Pradesh the way Congress was, if the people of Andhra Pradesh are cheated. Mr PM, it”s not a threat, it”s a ”shraap (curse),”” he said.
TDP had pulled out of the government and NDA earlier this year over its demand of special category status.