Vijayawada/ New Delhi: The YSR Congress has almost ruled out the possibility of accepting the post of Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha as the post is of no use to the state and also it does not want to be aligned with the BJP-led NDA regime.
The party has conveyed its stand to the BJP leadership, a senior leader said.
A senior AP BJP leader said, “We have not offered the post to the YSRC but we hinted at it to find out whether it was interested.”
An AP Cabinet minister said, “The issue is very sensitive. Jagan has made his stand clear on the issue by stating that he wants to get special category status before entering into any understanding with the Centre on sharing of posts. Moreover, the post is of no benefit to AP and so there is no question of accepting it.” The YSRC with its 22 MPs is the fourth largest party in the Lok Sabha.
The BJP’s internal discussions on the post come at a time when the YSRC does not want to be seen aligned with the BJP-led ruling NDA until the Modi government fulfils its demand for special status.
There is also speculation that the post can be offered to NDA ally JD(U). Interestingly, the Shiv Sena is seemingly miffed over reports that the BJP is keen on handing over the post to some other party and is keen that it should be given the post.
The party, the second biggest constituent of the NDA after the BJP, has only one representative in the Narendra Modi Cabinet.
With the party securing a huge majority in the elections on the promise securing Special Category Status (SCS), any plan to associate with the Centre by accepting such an offer without getting the special tag would dent its image.
YSRC chief and AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had earlier said that he was not interested in the NDA offer as his priority was to get SCS tag for the state and the benefits that go with it.
Alternatively, the BJP will offer it to the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) or break from convention and keep the post itself.
Over the past few decades, the constitutional post has conventionally gone to a party which is not a member of the ruling dispensation.
In Delhi, a senior YSRC leader said, “The party does not want this post, as it will be seen as aligning with the ruling dispensation. The party won’t do that until and unless Centre gives special status.”
He said the Congress was also responsible for AP not getting the special status tag.
“It bifurcated the state but did not give special status. So we will also be maintaining distance from them too,” he said.