In a significant political development ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament, a delegation of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) will meet non-Congress and non-BJP party leaders, informed sources said.
TDP's Lok Sabha floor leader Thota Narasimham and MP P. Ravindra Babu were scheduled to call on Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday evening, but he did not give them an appointment.
Later, they met with leaders of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and of some other parties in Mumbai.
Though details of the meetings or the agenda were not revealed, it is expected that the TDP will appeal to various parties to support the Special Category Status (SCS) it has demanded for Andhra Pradesh.
Narasimham will also hand over a letter and booklet from TDP President and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, highlighting the "injustice meted out to AP (Andhra Pradesh)" and solicit their espousal of the cause.
The monsoon session of Parliament will be held from July 18-August 10, when the AP Special Category Status issue -- politically critical for TDP ahead of the 2019 general elections -- is likely to figure prominently.
According to media reports, the TDP has made six-subgroups with senior party leaders, who will meet the representatives of other parties.
While one group will meet with TMC, BJD, SAD and AAP, another group will meet with CPI, CPM, Shiv Sena and NCP. The third group was tasked with meeting DMK, AIADMK, JDS, SP and BSP, while another group is scheduled to meet leaders from JDU, RJD and LJP.
One group will also meet TRS and AIMIM while the last group will try and meet INLD, Rashtriya Lokdal, Sikkim Democratic Front and Republic Party of India among others.
On March 16, the TDP and the YSRCP, the chief opposition party in Andhra Pradesh, had also moved a no-confidence motions against the government over the issue of special category status for the state.
TDP had pulled out from BJP led NDA alliance in March this year alleging that the Centre had not fulfilled promises made during bifurcation.
Five Lok Sabha MPs of the YSRCP had submitted their resignations on April 6 -- the last day of budget session -- to protest against the refusal of the Central government to accord special status.
The Speaker accepted the resignations of the MPs with effect from June 20.
â€˜Special category statusâ€™ is a classification given by the Centre to assist in development of those states that face geographical and socio-economic disadvantages like hilly terrains, strategic international borders, tribal population, economic and infrastructural backwardness and non-viable state finances.
During discussion on the AP Reorganization Bill, 2014, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured five years of SCS for the residual state of Andhra Pradesh, but the present BJP government has said that the provision was dropped by the 14th Finance Commission.