A day after four TDP Rajya Sabha MPs defected to BJP and passed a resolution to merge the party legislature with the BJP, in an act of rebellion, five TDP MPs have met with Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in the national capital on Friday, challenging the Rajya Sabha MPs defection.
Speaking to ANI about the legality of the merger of TDP's Rajya Sabha Unit with BJP, TDP MP Jayadev Galla who was present in the meeting with Vice president Venkaiah Naidu said that a merger of a political party has to take place only at the organisational level, not legislature level.
Earlier on Thursday, in the biggest political coup, Chandrababu Naidu's Telegu Desam Party's Rajya Sabha unit passes a resolution to merge the party legislature with the BJP. This development came after 4 Rajya Sabha MPs belonging to TDP- YS Chowdhary, TG Venkatesh, CM Ramesh, and Garikapati Mohan Rao joined BJP in presence of Vice President Venkaih Naidu and BJP working president JP Nadda.
Speaking to Republic TV, YS Chowdary said:
"2/3rd members of Rajya Sabha of TDP are joining the BJP. The Rajya Sabha unit of TDP is merging with BJP with immediate effect. This is a legislature party, we are merging that. We have not talked to Chandrababu Naidu."
Explaining why he left the TDP, Chowdhary said that he had joined the saffron party due to a difference of opinion with TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu over leaving the NDA, prior to the Lok Sabha polls.
"I did not get anything in return to BJP. I have not backstabbed Naidu. I have been telling Naidu that getting out of NDA was not the right move at that point of time," he said.
Naidu, who has been on a vacation with his family in Europe reacted to the defection tweeting that as he had severed ties with BJP on principle, he said that the four MPs joining the BJP was not a setback. He added that the party members had nothing to worry as TDP had always returned to the fore despite being written off by many.
Dissent among TDP leaders was reportedly already present after the party's dismal performance in the Lok Sabha and concurrent state assembly elections. TDP currently has 6 Rajya Sabha MPs.
On May 23, the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP decimated Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh in 2019 Lok Sabha polls and Assembly elections, by winning 151 seats out 175-seater AP assembly leaving on 23 seats for TDP and only 3 Lok Sabha seats.
The main reason for TDP's defeat has been speculated as Naidu's absence in a local campaign while he was busy trying to band Opposition leaders from Congress, AAP, NCP, Trinamool, SP, BSP to revive the Mahagathbandhan against the BJP-led NDA.