4 TDP Rajya Sabha MPs join BJP 

Chandrababu Naidu. File photo

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu, who is slowly coming to terms with the humiliating defeat of his party at the hands of YSR Congress party in the state, is in for another rude shock.

While Naidu was away on a long-awaited trip to Europe with his family, four of the party’s six Rajya Sabha MPs - former union minister Sujana Chowdary, C.M. Ramesh, TG Venkatesh, and Garikapati Mohan Rao - have joined the BJP.

Close on the heels of MPs, over 20 former TDP MLAs belonging to the Kapu community met at a hotel in the coastal city of Kakinada. They include Bonda Uma, Meesala Geetha, Veda Vyas, Kalavenkatrao and Chengal Rayudu. While they denied any plans to shift their loyalty to BJP, sources say that the move will be completed before Naidu returns home from his trip.

However, Naidu’s pep talk with the Sujana Chowdary on these developments from Europe failed to stop the four MPs from joining BJP.

“TDP has faced several problems since its inception. Don’t get disheartened,” Naidu told Sujana. Sujana is understood to have explained his point of view to Naidu.  In a recent interview with a TV channel Chowdary said that he is upset with the TDP for parting ways with the BJP. 

Sujana, a business-man, has been facing heat from the CBI and ED searches in the past few months in connection with a bank loan default case. On the other hand, the BJP, which was not happy with the state level leadership, is getting ready for an overhaul. Having failed to create an effective cadre to succeed in AP, BJP is keen on changing the leadership.

While few TDP MLAs are also ready to cross over to BJP, which has no representation in the state Assembly, Chandrababu Naidu is bound to lose his status as leader of the Opposition leader in the state Assembly.

“If we open doors there will be no TDP left. By 2024 there will be no TDP in the state” said Vishnu Kumar Raju, former BJP floor leader in AP Assembly commenting on the developments in Delhi. 

Another BJP leader, Vishnuvardhan Reddy, predicted unexpected changes in AP political scene before Naidu returns from his trip. “Many leaders are looking for options to wriggle out of the family-run political party,” he said on Thursday.

 It is said that TDP leaders were upset over the Naidu’s son and party general secretary Nara Lokesh. Many leaders have openly criticized Naidu for the recent debacle in the elections. They opined that Lokesh should resign from the post of general secretary and accept responsibility for the poor show.

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