New Delhi: After four Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Rajya Sabha MPs quit the party and three of them immediately joined the BJP on Thursday, party chief Chandrababu Naidu put up a brave front and said there was nothing to be worried about.
Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister in a message to TDP leaders and cadre said, “We fought with BJP only for Special Category Status & state’s interests. We sacrificed Central Ministers for Special Status, condemn attempts of BJP to weaken TDP. Crisis is not new to the party. Leaders & cadre have nothing to be nervous about.”
TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu condemned the BJP’s ‘attempts at weakening’ the party and said that he was deliberating with senior party leaders on the issue of four Rajya Sabha MPs defecting.
Speaking to news agency ANI reporters, Naidu said, “We condemn the attempts of the BJP in weakening TDP. The crisis is not new to the party.”
TDP parliamentarians YS Chowdary, CM Ramesh, TG Venkatesh and G Mohan Rao met Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu and submitted their resignation from the TDP earlier in the day.
Chowdary, a former central Minister, and Ramesh are considered close to Chandrababu Naidu. The two MPs had faced a series of searches by Income Tax, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in recent months.
In their letter to the Rajya Sabha chairman, the TDP MPs wrote that they were “inspired and encouraged by the impeccable leadership of Narendra Modi” and were merging with the BJP.
Earlier on Thursday, TDP parliamentary party in Rajya Sabha held a meeting and passed a resolution requesting the Rajya Sabha chairman to immediately merge it with the BJP.
In the resolution submitted to the Vice President, they said they decided to merge TDP parliamentary party in Rajya Sabha with BJP under paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution.
The strength of TDP MPs in the upper house of the Parliament has now fallen to two after four resigned today.
This development has added salt to the wounds of the Telugu Desam Party who recently lost Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections to YSRCP. The party could secure only 23 seats in 151-member Assembly. It also won only three out of 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
With IANS inputs