New Delhi: In what spells more trouble for the beleaguered Telugu Desam Party (TDP), party spokesperson Lanka Dinakar on Wednesday joined the BJP in the presence of its Working President J P Nadda. (Also read: TDP Delegation Meets Vice President Naidu, Discusses Defection by Party MPs)Also Read - West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Meets PM Modi, Discusses Covid Situation, Vaccines During Talks
Later it turned out that TDP’s Business Cell Secretary Koneru Venkata Krishnan has also joined the BJP. Also Read - Basavaraj S Bommai Elected as Next Karnataka CM; to Take Oath Tomorrow at 11 AM | Highlights
Former chief minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu had earlier tried to make light of the defection of party MPs to BJP. He had 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.” Also Read - BJP Likely to Announce Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa's Successor in 2 Days
Dinakar’s defection is interesting in particular because he has been particularly critical of the BJP-led NDA. Earlier this year, he had accused the BJP of doing “vendetta politics” by “using the Income Tax department” to conduct raids at various properties of Andhra Pradesh minister P Narayana.
“This is vendetta politics. BJP B team is in Andhra – Jagan Mohan Reddy, with Telangana Chief Minister (K. Chandrashekar Rao). They had asked P Narayana not to contest the election on behalf of TDP. He didn’t accept the proposal, so they are using the Income Tax department with the help of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP,” Dinakar had told ANI then.
The TDP minister had also said it was time for the public to teach YSRCP Chief Jagan Mohan Reddy and Prime Minister Modi a “lesson”.
The party stands practically decimated in the state after securing only 23 seats in 151-member Assembly. It also won only three out of 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The strength of TDP MPs in the Rajya Sabha has also fallen to two after four MPs resigned.