Another YSR Congress MLA joins Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh

Another YSR Congress MLA joins Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh

Another YSR Congress MLA joins Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh

Over a year after she alleged that the Telugu Desam leadership offered her "crores of rupees" to switch loyalty, YSR Congress MLA Vantala Rajeswari today crossed over to the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh.

Telugu Desam head and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu formally admitted the tribal legislator and her followers into the party at his residence here.

With this, the total number of MLAs who joined the TDP from the YSRC has risen to 22 (one of them died early this year).

"I am joining the TDP for the development of my constituency," the MLA from Rampachodavaram (ST) constituency in East Godavari district told reporters.

Rajeswari found fault with the YSRC decision to boycott the ensuing session of the legislature over the demand that all the legislators who have switched sides be disqualified forthwith.

"I will attend the assembly and raise issues related to my constituency," Rajeswari added.

Defection of YSRC MLAs to the TDP started in February 2016 with Bhuma Nagi Reddy and his daughter Akhila Priya.

Nagi Reddy died of a heart attack in March this year, while 21 others are now with the ruling party though the assembly records continue to list them as YSRC members.

Of the lawmakers who switched sides, four were inducted into the Chandrababu Naidu Cabinet in April this year.

When MLAs from the YSRC were making a beeline to the TDP last year, Rajeswari and a couple of other tribal MLAs had alleged they were offered "crores of rupees" to crossover.

"But there is no question of us leaving the YSRC," those legislators had announced then.

In a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind last week, YSRC chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy had regretted that no action had been taken against the legislators who crossed over, according to the 10th Schedule of the Constitution, in the last one-and -a-half years despite several petitions filed with the Legislative Council Chairman and the Assembly Speaker.

"Sir, we request you to kindly intervene in the matter and stop this mockery," the Leader of Opposition in the assembly had said in the letter.

The YSRC suffered the latest setback two days before Jagan Reddy is set to launch a six-month-long foot march across the state.