Speculation that Telugu Desam Party's (TDP) Telangana unit president L Ramana leaving the party arose on Monday after he held meetings with leaders from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). Ramana, however, told the media that he has not taken any decision to quit the TDP. Reports suggest the leader has been offered a Legislative Council seat.
Ramana, has been leading the TDP in Telangana since the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. TRS leaders including Panchayat Raj Minister E Dayakar Rao, who quit the TDP in 2016 to join ruling party and the Jagtial MLA M Sanjay Kumar held talks with Ramana on Monday. The ruling party is believed to be luring Ramna to its camp to negate any possible impact from the recent resignation of former minister Eatala Rajender, who is expected to join BJP later this week.
Rajender, a leader from Backward Classes (BC), has announced his resignation from the State Assembly. He is likely to seek re-election from the Huzurabad constituency as a BJP candidate.
Ramana is also considered a powerful leader from the BC community and he comes from the combined Karimnagar district. If Ramana, a former MLA from Jagtial, joins the TRS it is expected to bolster the ruling party ahead of the Huzurabad by-election.
Elections to six seats of the Legislative Council are due while the state government will also nominate a member to the upper house of the State Legislature. However, the TDP leader is said to be insisting on an assurance from Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. Ramana is one of the few leaders left in the TDP in Telangana. Many top TDP leaders defected to TRS over the last seven years.
The TDP could win just two seats in the 119-member Telangana Assembly in 2018. With both the MLAs defecting to TRS, TDP has no presence in the state Assembly.