New Delhi: In a major political development, the Telugu Desam Party’s two ministers AG Raju & YS Choudhary resigned from the Union Cabinet on Thursday evening.
The resignation came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s phone call to appease Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu turned fruitless.
However, the ministers said the party will continue to be a part of the NDA government.
"We will continue to be a part of the NDA but not take up any ministerial positions.I don't think there is anything wrong in that. I don't think it's fair on our part to expect PM to deal with these issues. It's for the concerned ministries to take up, already considerable amount of time has lapsed," YS Choudhary told reporters.
Naidu had announced the withdrawal of the two Telugu Desam ministers from the Narendra Modi government, saying he was "deeply hurt" by finance minister Arun Jaitley's statement that special state status could not be granted to Andhra Pradesh.
Naidu, who has 21 MPs, said civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapati Raju and junior science and technology minister Y.S. Chowdhary would submit their resignation on Thursday morning.
In an address to the Assembly, Naidu underscored how he had visited Delhi 29 times for the rights of his state.
Earlier, the finance minister had said in Delhi that the Centre could not agree to the special state status demand but was ready to give the monetary equivalent as a "special package".
"We stand by our commitment to provide the monetary equivalent of special status state," Jaitley said, pointing out that after the 14th Finance Commission, there is no special category scheme.
"Political issue cannot increase funds. Sentiments do not increase the quantum of funds. We have to look at the country as a whole," Jaitley added.
The Congress on Wednesday night described Naidu's pullout decision as "too little, too late".
(With additional information from The Telegraph, Calcutta)