2 Cong, 3 TDP leaders from Telangana join BJP
In Andhra Pradesh, too, several TDP leaders are believed to be in touch with the BJP. “At least eight TDP MLAs are in touch with us,” state BJP vice-president S Vishnu Vardhan Reddy said.Updated: Jun 28, 2019 01:04 IST
Five Telugu Desam Party and Congress leaders from Telangana on Thursday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi. These are the latest in a series of defections to the BJP since it returned to power at the Centre with a bigger majority of 303 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha last month.
The five include former assembly members E Peddi Reddy, Boda Janardhan (TDP), P Shashidhar Reddy (Congress) and former MP Chada Suresh Reddy (TDP). They joined the BJP in presence of the party’s general secretary, P Muralidhar Rao, along with Congress leader Sheik Rahmatullah. The five were inducted into the party following a meeting with BJP working president, J P Nadda.
The BJP managed to win just one seat in the 119-member Telangana assembly last year. It won four of the state’s 17 Lok Sabha. Congress got three Lok Sabha seats while the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi won the remaining nine seats. The Congress lost the leader of opposition post in Telangana after 12 of its 18 lawmakers joined TRS, which now has 103 members. Another Congress lawmaker, Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy, has announced he would join the BJP.
The defections come a week after four of the six TDP Rajya Sabha members defected to the BJP. They are another setback to TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, who lost power last month in Andhra Pradesh to his main rival, YSR Congress Party, which also won 22 of the state’s 25 seats.
TDP’s lone representative from Telangana in Rajya Sabha, Garikapati Mohan Rao, was among the four, who defected to the BJP. The TDP won two of the 13 assembly seats it contested in the state in an alliance with Congress. TDP member S Venkata Veeraiah has since joined TRS. The party’s lone lawmaker in the state, Mecha Nageshwar Rao is likely to defect to BJP, people aware of the developments said.
Later, TDP leader Nama Nageshwar Rao also defected to the TRS. State BJP president K Laxman said this is just a beginning. “You are going to witness many leaders in the Congress and TRS joining BJP,” he said.
In Andhra Pradesh, too, several TDP leaders are believed to be in touch with the BJP. “At least eight TDP MLAs are in touch with us,” state BJP vice-president S Vishnu Vardhan Reddy said.
First Published: Jun 28, 2019 00:08 IST