Both YSR Congress and Telugu Desam Party have moved two separate no-confidence motions against the Modi government in the Lok Sabha. It’s a battle of no-confidence motions. With Andhra politics playing out in the battleground of Parliament, both the YSR Congress and the Telugu Desam Party have moved two separate no-confidence motions against the NDA government in the Lok Sabha.

On Friday (March 16), N Chandrababu Naidu took a U-turn after initially indicating that he will support the YSRC motion. The decision to do his own thing was taken to ensure the YSRC did not walk away with the credit of having taken on the BJP.

Along with the no-confidence motion, Naidu also decided to bid adieu to the NDA. This decision to make the divorce complete came a week after he had withdrawn his two ministers from the Narendra Modi government. This may be followed by the MPs from Andhra Pradesh resigning.

The YSRC has already set April 6 as the day when they will call it quits and the TDP may want to pre-empt them to show they do not hanker after positions of power either. The politics of Andhra Pradesh has become all about the art of leaving.

The BJP is likely to project the coming together of the Opposition – from the Left to Mamata Banerjee to Asaduddin Owaisi – over the no-confidence motion as a case of Modi versus the rest.

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While the Opposition will look at the debate in the Lok Sabha, if it indeed takes place, as a forum to embarrass the BJP and a dress rehearsal of sorts for an Opposition template, the BJP too will look at the glass half full. This will make the contest in 2019 presidential and help the BJP taunt the ragtag Opposition as a group of several prime ministerial hopefuls.

But is the BJP worried about the Andhra umbrage? Far from it.

In fact, the BJP could not care less about the TDP exit. In the revolving door policy that the BJP is likely to adopt in the southern state, the YSR Congress could be brought in post-2019 if the BJP falls short of numbers. With just two MPs and four MLAs, the BJP does not have huge stakes in Andhra Pradesh and would not lose sleep over Naidu walking out of the marriage.

The relationship between the two partners in any case, was marked more by trust deficit than camaraderie in the last four years. If the TDP accused the BJP of displaying a big brother attitude in New Delhi and being stingy with disbursal of funds, the BJP accused Naidu’s party of bullying its way through in Andhra.

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BJP leaders from Andhra Pradesh on more than one occasion have complained about central schemes getting hijacked by the TDP or being given no prominence. They have pointed out instances where schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan have focused more on Naidu and state ministers than the prime minister.

The writing was on the wall, for those following Andhra politics closely. More so after October 2015, when during the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Amaravati, Modi brought water from the Yamuna and soil from Parliament. The TDP was very disappointed because while the gesture seemed nice, it was more keen on a gift cheque for the state capital.

Admittedly, the BJP in its enthusiasm to win the elections in Andhra Pradesh promised special category status for 10 years, as against the five granted by the UPA. The fact that it thereafter went back on the promise has led the people of Andhra to believe it was just another one of Modi’s jumlas. The personal equity of Modi has taken a hit in the process. And the BJP, more so with TDP expanding it to “Break Janata Promise”, will find it difficult to explain itself to the people.

But what irked the BJP was Naidu’s tendency to take credit for everything. The Modi regime saw little merit in helping boost Naidu’s brand equity in Andhra.

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The BJP also accuses Naidu of duplicity. In September 2016, the TDP had agreed to a special package in lieu of special category status, provided the benefits were the same. Now in the wake of pressure back home, the TDP is asking for the special status.

Naidu’s hand in this entire episode has been forced by the moves made by Jagan Mohan Reddy. The TDP chief had planned a more calibrated exit closer to the elections in order to make it a poll issue. Jagan’s April 6 deadline and the decision to move a no-confidence motion meant Naidu could no longer wait till mid-2018.

Add to that the allegations of corruption made by Pawan Kalyan on Wednesday at his public meeting in Guntur against Naidu’s son, Andhra IT minister Nara Lokesh. Naidu had to make a big move fast in order to ensure Pawan’s allegations, however unsubstantiated, do not remain a talking point in the public domain.

On Friday, TDP MP N Sivaprasad who has made a habit of coming dressed in different attires to Parliament every day of the Budget session, was seen in a fisherman’s costume. He explained that since the PM was always away, he wanted to catch Modi with his net.

His party boss would be more interested in netting votes, come 2019. #KhabarLive