Don’t be nervous, Chandrababu Naidu tells party after 4 MPs join BJP
The shocker for Naidu comes at a time he is in Europe on a family vacation and is due to be back on June 26.Updated: Jun 20, 2019 19:21 IST
Four Telugu Desam Party lawmakers in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday quit the party to cross over to the Bharatiya Janata Party, a move that has plunged the party led by Chandrababu Naidu into crisis. The TDP, which had six lawmakers in the upper house, is left with just two.
The four MPs, who handed over their resignation from the party to Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, also passed a resolution to merge the TDP’s legislature party with the BJP. The four Rajya Sabha members said they were “inspired and encouraged by the impeccable leadership of Narendra Modiji”.
Before they handed over their letter to Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, the four MPs - YS Chowdary alias Sujana Chowdary, TG Venkatesh, CM Ramesh and Garikapati Mohan Rao – also had a brief meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah in Parliament.
The BJP was jubilant. “The MPs joined the BJP for faster development of Andhra Pradesh,” said the BJP’s freshly-minted working president JP Nadda at his first press conference after his elevation to the post.
The shocker for Naidu comes at a time he is in Europe on a family vacation and is due to be back on June 26.
Venkatesh denied suggestions that the MPs had timed to resign behind Naidu’s back and stressed that they had sounded out the TDP chief well before he flew out of the country. “He requested (Chandrababu Naidu) us not to desert the TDP in this hour of crisis, but we told him we have our own compulsions,” he said.
In his first reaction to the huge setback, according to news agency ANI, Chandrababu Naidu put up a brave face. “A crisis is not new to the party. TDP leaders and cadre have nothing to be nervous about,” Naidu said. The former chief minister, who led the party to a humiliating defeat in state and national elections, underscored that he had only fought with the BJP for a special category status for Andhra.
“We sacrificed central ministers for special status… We condemn attempts of BJP to weaken TDP,” Naidu said.
Back in 2014, Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP had been the first party to extend support to the BJP. But the alliance crashed after Naidu escalated his campaign for special category status to Andhra Pradesh. As Naidu exited the alliance, he also spared no efforts to hurl insults at the BJP leadership and PM Modi. TDP leaders indicate that Naidu had been also worried about reports that the BJP had been flirting with YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s party.
First Published: Jun 20, 2019 19:19 IST