Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nadendla Bhaskar Rao on Saturday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Bhaskar Rao, who was not active in politics for a long time, was formally welcomed into the party by BJP President Amit Shah at a meeting organized to launch the party's membership drive in Hyderabad.
He had been Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for a month in 1984. Then a cabinet minister in Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder N T Rama Rao's cabinet, he had successfully led a coup when the latter had gone to the US for heart surgery. Bhaskar was a close aide of NTR and supporters of the TDP founder have often said that the coup was staged with tacit support from the Indira Gandhi-led Congress government at the Centre.
It was during this time that Chandrababu Naidu emerged as a crucial politician in the TDP, as it was him, who led a movement with the support of non-Congress opposition parties, and managed to ensure that NTR became CM again, within a month.
Bhaskar Rao later joined the Congress but was not active in politics for a long time.
Along with Bhaskar Rao, former minister Peddi Reddy, former MPs Rammohan Reddy and Suresh Reddy, former MLA Sashidhar Reddy, film producer Bellamkonda Ramesh, retired IAS official Chandravadan and others joined BJP.
Amit Shah, during his speech, dismissed criticism for admitting leaders from other parties into BJP. He said all parties had good people and all good people were coming together under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Bhaskar Rao's son, Nadendla Manohar, is also a senior politician. A former Congressman and ex-Speaker of United Andhra Pradesh, Manohar joined actor-politician Pawan Kalyanâ€™s Jana Sena Party and has emerged as a key leader. He contested from the Tenali Assembly constitutency during the recent polls but did not manage to secure the seat.