Mamata backs TDP-run Andhra in its 'fight' against centre
(3 months ago)
Siliguri, Feb 5 : Against the backdrop of the strained ties between the BJP and the TDP, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday extended her support to Andhra Pradesh's ruling party, saying she would support any state which was facing neglect from the centre just like her Bengal.
"West Bengal is facing the maximum deprivation and neglect under the present (National Democratic Alliance) regime at the centre (led by the BJP). You can't browbeat the Trinamool by treating Bengal in a step-motherly way.
"And it is for similar reasons that Andhra Pradesh has also become vocal. I have been told that the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) would leave the NDA because of the way Andhra Pradesh is being deprived by the Centre.
"I would like to extend my backing to Andhra Pradesh. I am with Andhra Pradesh. I am with all states who are being deprived, just like us," Banerjee said, while addressing a rally of the youth and student wings of the Trinamool Congress here.
Banerjee's overtures to the TDP is being seen in the light of her constant emphasis on forging alliance of regional parties, which she had christened Federal Front in the past.
Soon after the by-poll wins in the Uluberia Lok Sabha and Noapara assembly constituencies last week, she had spoken on the need for a one-on-one fight against the BJP.
"I still feel, parties which have strength in a particular state, should fight (the BJP) there with all its strength. There should be one is to one (fight). This is what I feel.
"Again in some areas, there is need for adjustments and re-adjustments. If this is done properly, this (BJP led National Democratic Alliance) government will not be in saddle at the centre after the 2019 elections," she had said last Thursday.
Upset over "injustice" to Andhra Pradesh in Union Budget 2018-19, the TDP, a key ally of the BJP, has decided to raise the issue in Parliament.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu has asked his party MPs to pressurise the BJP-led NDA government to undo the injustice, calling it only the first step.
The TDP chief has said the party's next course of action would depend on the response of the Narendra Modi government. Naidu has been demanding that the centre help his state till it overcame its revenue deficit and developed at par with the other neighbouring states.