Prime Minister Narendra Modi won the trust vote last week defeating the no-confidence motion. But what stood out in the debate, apart from the much talked about behaviour by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, was the speech by Jayadev Galla, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. Later, speaking to Business Today, the industrialist-turned-politician said it's the first time that a no-confidence motion was moved on an issue related to the rights of a state. It is the first no-confidence motion moved in 15 years. And, given that his party let him move it, it also turned out to be the first time that a first term MP moved a no-confidence motion.
Galla reveals that he wanted to talk about the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's strategy for its allies. Galla, who also is the vice-chairman and managing director at home-grown automotive and industrial battery maker Amara Raja Batteries, says: "If I were to use the word in business terms, it is called 'creeping acquisition' followed by 'hostile takeover'." He says the BJP has demonstrated this time and again and is now attempting it in North-East and Tamil Nadu (TN). Upset that Andhra Pradesh, headed by Nara Chandrababu Naidu, was not granted the promised 'Special Category Status" that could have helped the fledgling state attract new investors, he says: "BJP is in the process of weakening regional parties. It's done it in North East, now they are trying in TN and AP."
"They believe that they can only benefit at the expense of their ally. To achieve this, they nurture relationship with all the rivals of allies. They strengthen, finance and give them strategy, consultancy to weaken their ally to create a vacuum in the state. They use divisive strategies and tactics to divide people on the lines of caste, religion or through any other sentiments that they can evoke to drive division in the society. They are disruptive and dispassionate in their approach without considering the cost of human lives and cost to the nation...Look at how allies are being destroyed in Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, JK and Bihar. Their approach is to destroy their allies by starving them of funds and turning public opinion against them." Upset that Andhra was not granted the Special Category Status (SCS), he says, the 14th finance commission (FC) is taken as a shield for not granting the SCS. "GST is also taken as shield for not giving industrial incentives." To top it all, according to him, "paltry funding will take 20-30 years for completing the institutions.' On the net loss to the state because of denial of the SCS, he says: "It is incalculable. You cannot calculate the loss because many investments would have come to the state had there been a SCS. We need that asymmetrical advantage for a while and we should be given an un-level playing field until we achieve our own level -playing field with the southern states."