Reacting to the developments, Chandrababu Naidu tried to downplay the defections but held the BJP responsible for the crisis in the party.

Big blow to Naidu Four TDP MPs join BJP want to merge with party
news Politics Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 18:34

In a blow to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), four of its Rajya Sabha MPs – YS Chowdary, CM Ramesh, Garikapati Mohan Rao and TG Venkatesh – resigned from the party and joined the BJP. While YS Chowdary, CM Ramesh and TG Venkatesh joined the BJP in the presence of BJP Working President JP Nadda on Thursday, GM Rao, who is reportedly unwell, will be formally inducted into the party later.

The four MPs also passed a resolution to merge the TDP Legislative Party with the BJP.

“A resolution signed by the four MPs states: ‘Inspired and encouraged by the impeccable leadership of Shri Narendra Modi ji and the developmental policies being pursued by him in the overall interest of the nation, we have decided to merge with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BIP) with immediate effect under Paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India.”

The resolution has sought that the Legislative Party of the TDP be merged with the BJP with immediate effect under Paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India. The MPs have resolved to write to BJP President Amit Shah to accept the merger and submit his written acceptance to the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Paragraph of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India deals with disqualification of elected representatives, and says that ‘disqualification on ground of defection need not apply in case of a merger.’ The members can either join the political party or rem

Speaking to ANI, TG Venkatesh said, ‘We are six MPs in Rajya Sabha. The BJP needs more strength in the House. Ours is a backward region and there is a need for development. I have a decade-long relationship with BJP, isn't it obvious that we are quitting TDP when we are joining BJP?”

This comes as a big blow for TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, as three of the four leaders were senior members of the party. YS Chowdary and CM Ramesh were also considered to be Naidu’s close aides.

Reacting to the developments, Chandrababu Naidu tried to downplay the defections but held the BJP responsible for the crisis in the party.

“We fought with BJP only for Special Category Status and the state's interests. We sacrificed Central Ministers for Special Status. We condemn attempts of BJP to weaken TDP. The crisis is not new to the party. Leaders and cadre have nothing to be nervous about,” Naidu told ANI.

Two of the leaders who defected to the BJP have previously faced probes by central agencies. The ED earlier conducted raids on YS Chowdury, accusing him of defrauding banks to the tune of over Rs 5,700 crores. The CBI has also named him in three FIRs in the same case.  

The TDP MPs seemed to have followed the Congress’s example in Telangana. Congress defectors decided to merge their Legislative Party with the TRS in the Telangana Assembly after two-thirds of Congress MLAs defected to the House.

In the Assembly elections held in December last year, the TRS had bagged 88 seats while the Congress had bagged 19. However, over time, many senior leaders, including sitting MLAs, defected to the ruling TRS, leaving the Congress fighting a losing battle. The final nail in the coffin was the resignation of TPCC President N Uttam Kumar Reddy, who resigned as an MLA after he was elected as an MP.

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