Shahid K Abbas in New Delhi
The Telugu Desam party has decided not to field a candidate for the post of the Lok Sabha speaker, TDP sources confirmed to rediff.com on Tuesday.
The post is lying vacant since the death of the sitting speaker G M C Balayogi, who belonged to the TDP, in a plane crash.
TDP has 28 members in the Lok Sabha and holds the key to the survival of the National Democratic Alliance.
A TDP MP said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had called a meeting of the state Cabinet in Hyderabad where he pointed out that it would not be fair to accept the post of the speaker, while expressing discontent on the Gujarat issue at the same time.
Feigning ignorance about any move to topple the Vajpayee-led government at the Centre, the TDP MP, however, admitted that his party would vote against the government in case a discussion was taken up in Parliament on the issue of replacement of Narendra Modi as Gujarat chief minister.
Sources also said that Naidu feels that the BJP is turning out to be a liability, as the latter had no base or presence of its own in the state.
Keen to set his house in order before the state assembly election, due in 2004, Babu had recently reviewed the disastrous performance of the TDP-BJP alliance in the recently-held Hyderabad municipal polls.
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