The office of the President of India said it has accepted the resignations of the two ministers from Telugu Desam Party, and that the civil aviation portfolio will be taken over by the Prime Minster.
The two ministers, Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Y.S. Chowdary had put in their papers yesterday over demands by Andhra Pradesh for ‘special status’.
Special category states, such as those of the North East and hilly states such as Himachal Pradesh, get privileges not available to other states, such as increased budgetary allocations.
TDP, one of the ruling BJP’s oldest allies, has been demanding the status for Andhra Pradesh in the wake of the bifurcation of the state into two to create Telangana.
The government at the center refused the demand, claiming that the finance commission does not permit special category status to any state other than those in the north-east and the three hilly provinces.
The acceptance of the resignation by the two ministers indicates that the center no longer sees any possibility of a rapprochement between the allies.
The two parties have meanwhile dismissed speculation that they may look for alternate partners. There has also been speculation that the resignation is part of a ‘drama’ by the TDP to occupy the opposition space in the state.