Two BJP ministers in the N Chandrababu Naidu Cabinet, Kamineni Srinivas, Health and Medical Education minister and P Manikyala Rao, Endowments Minister, submitted their resignations to Chief Minister on Wednesday. Kamineni Srinivas said their decision came in the wake of the TDP asking its Union Ministers to resign.
“It is a painful decision. This should not have happened like this. The sentiments of people are important and people feel that Special Category Status is Andhra Pradesh’s right. Our commitment is to the development of the state. I and my colleague Maikyala Rao will submit resignations before the budget sessions starts today,’’ Srinivas said.
Manikyala Rao said that he was pained by the way certain political leaders, including TDP leaders, were blaming Venkaiah Naidu, then a BJP minister. “Venkaiah Naidu did a lot of things for the state after bifurcation. He is the one who put his foot down and ensured that Andhra got a number of institutions and projects, and got funds released immediately for Amaravati. Such a person is being accused and blamed today. That is not acceptable. I am going to the Assembly to resign,’’ Rao said.
Ahead of 2014 elections, the TDP entered an alliance with the BJP in the face of stiff competition from YSR Congress Party led by Y S Jaganmohan Reddy. The alliance largely helped TDP scrape through to victory with a slender 2 per cent margin over YSRCP. The BJP won four Assembly and two Lok Sabha seats. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu inducted two BJP MLAs as ministers in his Cabinet. Besides Srinivas and Manikyala Rao who won from Kaikaluru and Tadepalligudem Assembly constituencies respectively, BJP’s P Vishnu Kumar Raju from Visakhapatnam North, and Dr Akula Satyanarayana from Rajamudry City also won. Dr K Hari Babu had won from the Visakhapatnam Parliamentary constituency while G Ganga Raju won from Naraspuram.
The TDP had late last night decided to ask its members in the NDA Cabinet — Union Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapati Raju and Y Satyanarayana Chowdary, Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences — to resign after the Centre refused to grant special category status to the state.
“Although we did get a lot of funds and projects from the Centre in the last four years certain key promises made in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, and assurances given on the floor of Parliament when the state was being divided have not been fulfilled. The issue of granting special status has been dragged on for four years now and there was no mention of Andhra in the last budget of the NDA. It is an unfortunate decision but it had to be taken in the interest of the state.,’’ Chowdhary said this morning.