Four TDP RS members merge with BJP
In a massive blow to TDP after its decimation in the recent elections, four of its six Rajya Sabha MPs from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana merged themselves with the BJP on Thursday.
Accompanied by BJP Working President J P Nadda and Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha Thawar Chand Gehlot, three MPs — Y S Chowdary, C M Ramesh and T G Venkatesh — met Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu and submitted a resolution purportedly passed by the Legislature Party of Telugu Desam in the upper House where the merger decision was taken.
The fourth MP, G Mohan Rao, who is from Telangana, was not part of the delegation that met Naidu as he was stated to have suffered some injury.
The resolution said the Legislature Party met under the leadership of Chowdary and Deputy leader Ramesh. The TDP has six members in Rajya Sabha and three in Lok Sabha.
Notably, Chowdary was a Minister of State in the Modi government before TDP parted ways with BJP last year. He is facing a CBI probe in connection with a multui-crore bank fraud allegedly involving his company Crompton Engineering Projects Ltd. He has allegedly cheated Andhra Bank to the tune of Rs. 71 crore in 2017. The CBI had also raided his premises in Hyderabad earlier this month.
“Inspired and encouraged by the impeccable leadership Shri Narendra Modi and the development policies being pursued by him in the overall interest of the nation. We have desired to merge with the BJP with immediate effect under Paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India,” the resolution said.
It also said the meeting decided to write to the BJP President to accept the merger and convey his acceptance through a resolution to Rajya Sabha Chairman and to request him to allow the merger and “treat us as part of the BJP Legislature Party”.
Reacting to the development, TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu condemned “the attempts of BJP in weakening TDP”.
Later, the three MPs formally joined the BJP at the party headquarters and were welcomed by Nadda, Gehlot and General Secretary Bhupinder Yadav.
Nadda said the TDP MPs, who are leaders in their own right in Andhra Pradesh, have decided to merge with BJP inspired by the inclusive development plank of Modi and the organisational abilities of BJP President Amit Shah.
He said Shah has accpeted the proposal of the TDP MPs for the merger and accordingly “all of us met the Rajya Sabha Chairman and presented him the party’s decision to accept the merger proposal”.
“We believe in principled politics of inclusiveness and we will strongly support the efforts of the MPs in the development of Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
Chowdary, who addressed the media on behalf on behalf of the group, said the group of TDP MPs took the merger decision after being influenced by the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the recent elections.
“The decision was taken in the interest of the country and especially Andhra Pradesh. The state is facing various issues related to the bifurcation of the state and we want to see their implementation without confrontation and with cooperation.”
The press conference was brought to a close abruptly when reporters started asking some questions about the case being faced by Chowdary.(ANI)