The Telugu Desam Party's presence in the Telangana Assembly came to an end on Wednesday with both party MLAs defecting to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). The state Legislature issued a bulletin about the merger of the Telugu Desam Legislature Party (TDLP) with the TRS Legislature Party (TRSLP), hours after Mecha Nageshwar Rao and Sandra Venkata Veeraiah called on the Speaker and submitted him a letter, requesting the merger.
According to the bulletin issued by Legislature Secretary V Narasimha Charyulu, both the TDP legislators communicated to the Speaker that they had resolved to merge with the TRSLP under Paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution and requested him to take appropriate action in the matter. TRSLP leaders also communicated to the Speaker that the TRS has agreed to the request for the merger and requested to take necessary action.
"Therefore, the Hon'ble Speaker has taken note of both the communications and deemed to have merged the said Two (2) Members in all, of the Telugu Desam Legislature Party with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi Legislature Party in Telangana Legislative Assembly in terms of Paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India. Accordingly, seats are allotted to them along with Members of Telangana Rashtra Samithi Legislature Party in the House (sic)," reads the bulletin.
While Venkata Veeraiah had already joined the TRS, Nageshwar Rao joined the ruling party on Wednesday. Before meeting the Speaker, the two MLAs called on Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao. The TRS chief responded positively to their request and welcomed them into the party. Both the TDP MLAs also informed Legislative Affairs Minister Vemula Prashanth Reddy about their decision to merge TDLP with TRSLP.
The TDP had won only two seats in the 119-member Telangana Assembly in the 2018 elections. The party had won Ashwaraopeta and Sathupally Assembly seats, both in Khammam district. However, both the MLAs had been staying away from party activities. Venkata Veeraiah quit the TDP in March 2019 and joined the TRS.
The merger of TDLP with TRSLP will take TRS' strength in the Assembly to 104. The TRS, which retained power in 2018, had won 88 Assembly seats. Later, a dozen MLAs of opposition Congress and two independent MLAs joined the ruling party.