The Andhra Pradesh unit of the BJP has been facing flak for the decisions of its central leadership at an unlikely place - its Facebook page.
Many in the state, including the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) are angry over the injustice meted out to Andhra Pradesh in the Union Budget 2018-19.
The TDP is a part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre, while the BJP is the junior ally in the TDP-led government in the state.
The state had demanded a railway zone in Visakhapatnam, release of funds for building the state’s new capital Amaravati, funds for the Kadapa steel plant, and a railway division for the stretch between Vijayawada and Guntakal.
However, the Centre snubbed most of the demands put forth by the state.
Hordes of citizens – including TDP and opposition YSRCP functionaries have descended on the BJP Andhra Pradesh's Facebook page and given it a rating of '1 star' in the review section.
Accusing the BJP of 'betraying' the people of the state, they demanded special status and a railway zone at Visakhapatnam to the state.
"When bifurcation was done under the Congress government with the promise of 'Special Status' for five years, BJP leaders stated that AP needs at least 10 years of the special category status, and TDP gained power in 2014 with this as their main agenda. Now, both central and state governments betrayed the people of AP," one user wrote.
"Dear BJP, just don't blame Congress for the uneven bifurcation. People had punished them with a lifetime sentence. It's gonna be your turn now (sic)," another user said.
One angry user wrote, "Dear BJP, Andhra Pradesh people are sick of your ill acknowledgement. We demand special status. You have succeeded in dividing us in name of religion. But it wont last. Because we were, we are and we will stand unite as brothers (sic)."
At the time of writing, more than 1,000 users had given the BJP page a 'one star' rating.
The state unit of the BJP has been trying to do damage control, posting a video of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's interview with Republic TV's Arnab Goswami.
In the video, Jaitley says, "In the last three years, every commitment made in the AP Reorganisation Act, we have repeatedly said that we stand by every word. The Polavaram project is being supported by NABARD....all the institutions which were promised have been inaugurated or have been launched. We have done a fair amount (of work), and we will do more."
However, people did not seem to accept it, as they continued taking jibes at the BJP in the comment section.
Meanwhile, as reports suggested that the TDP may break its alliance with the BJP, party national general secretary Ram Madhav said that his party would talk to the TDP, which was an ‘old ally’.
“There seems to be some kind of unhappiness, we will talk it out. TDP is an old ally of the BJP. We are committed to the interests of Andhra Pradesh…We at the BJP are committed not only to address the TDP’s concerns with regard to the Budget proposals, but also, all other issues of concern that it may have. We will convince Mr. Naidu and the TDP not to think of severing their ties with the BJP or the NDA. They are a valuable ally,” Ram Madhav was quoted as saying