Senior Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and ex-Ramachandrapuram MLA Thota Trimurthulu on Sunday joined the ruling YSRCP after meeting with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy at his residence in Tadepalli in Amaravati.
A strongman in East Godavari district, Trimurthulu's decision comes as a blow to the TDP. YSRCP General Secretary and Rajya Sabha member V. Vijaya Sai Reddy and Deputy Chief Minister Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose were also present.
Trimurthulu said that he had joined the YSRCP as he was impressed by the policies of Jagan Mohan Reddy and assured people that he would work for the development of the Ramachandrapuram constituency along with his followers and cooperate with local leaders.
Speaking to reporters after joining the YSRCP, he also found fault with the TDP and said that the party was soon going to go extinct in the state.
In June this year, Trimurthulu hosted a meeting of senior TDP leaders at Kakinada amid reports that they were planning to join either the BJP or YSRCP. The leaders, belonging to the Kapu community, met to discuss their strategy, as they said that they were disillusioned with the party's stand on their demand for reservation in education and employment.
Trimurthulu also lashed out at Jana Sena Party (JSP) chief and actor-politician Pawan Kalyan for stating that Kapu leaders are joining the YSRCP fearing Jagan Mohan Reddy. Dismissing the statement, Trimurthulu said that Pawan Kalyan did not represent the voice of the Kapu community and added that he had joined YSRCP for the development of his constituency.
While certain cadres of the YSRCP protested Trimurthulu joining the party, Subhash Chandra Bose, who had defeated him in the elections held earlier this year, assured party workers that they would all work together.
A four-time MLA, Trimurthulu is also one of the accused in the case in Venkatayapalem from 1996, where he allegedly tonsured two Dalit youngsters and beat up three others, for opposing his candidacy.