Dealing another blow to the beleaguered YSR Congress, one more MLA from the Opposition party on Thursday crossed over to the ruling TDP in Andhra Pradesh.
Pothula Rama Rao, representing Kandukuru Assembly constituency in Prakasam district, joined the TDP in the presence of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in Vijayawada.
With this, the total number of MLAs who crossed over from the YSRC to the TDP increased to 19.
Rama Rao was in fact tipped to join the TDP back in February when the defections first started. But owing to local factors in his home district, his formal entry into the TDP was delayed.
The YSRC had six MLAs in Prakasam district, considered one of its strongholds, but now the number has fallen to just two.
On Wednesday, another MLA from the Jaganmohan Reddy-led party, M Ashok Reddy, jumped over to the TDP. Ashok Reddy was elected from Giddaluru, also in Prakasam district.
The YSRC won 67 seats in the 176-member AP Assembly in 2014 elections.
Since February 22 this year, its legislators started defecting to the ruling party one after the other.
Now, the lone Opposition party's strength in the Assembly has depleted to 48 though technically the defectors will continue to be treated as YSRC MLAs.