In the wake of four Rajya Sabha members defecting to the BJP on Thursday, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N. Chandrababu Naidu hit back at the defectors and said that his party would bounce back.
In a series of tweets, the senior leader said, "The reason behind TDP differing with BJP was to achieve Special Status for AP which was left in the lurch post-bifurcation. It would have been easy for me to remain friendly with BJP while betraying the future of AP and its crores of people. I didnâ€™t do that."
"All my life, I have strived for the good of people and will continue to do so regardless of being in power or not. TDP MPs joining BJP today is the result of my fight for AP's rights. They had their own personal agendas to address," he added.
Stating that such a crisis was not new for him, the former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister said, "Earlier, many said TDP is dead. Many said TDP is a closed chapter. Many said leaders are deserting the party and that it will be gone and buried. We never gave up. We came back."
"We have lakhs of karyakarthas and crores of Telugu people behind us. History will repeat itself. There is nothing to worry. TDP will be back," he added.
Meanwhile, Naidu, who is currently holidaying abroad in Europe along with his family members, held a teleconference with party leaders available at his residence in Amaravati.
The TDP chief told them that this situation is not new to the party as it had witnessed many such crises in its 36-year-old history. He advised the party leaders and cadres not to get worried by the defections.
Naidu told the party leaders that the TDP fought with the BJP to safeguard the state's interests. He slammed the BJP for luring TDP MPs.
Y S Chowdary, C M Ramesh, T G Venkatesh and G Mohan Rao, all Rajya Sabha members of the TDP, on Thursday joined the BJP. They requested Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu to merge the TDP parliamentary party in Rajya Sabha with the BJP.
Meanwhile, senior TDP leaders alleged that the MPs joined the BJP to save themselves in various cases booked against them by central agencies.
Former minister N. Chinnarajappa said since the MPs were facing various charges, they joined the BJP to protect themselves. He termed the defections as "unfortunate" and said the MPs switched loyalties after enjoying various positions of power.
"Whatever the BJP may do, it is not going to help the party in gaining ground in the state," he said.