Confronting newly-inducted BJP member and Rajya Sabha MP Y S Chowdhury, Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, on Thursday has asked him what Chowdhury ha received in return for joining the BJP. Chowdhury replied 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.
When asked about why he did not join the BJP prior to the polls if he differed in the above-mentioned opinion, he said that his desertion prior to the polls would have affected TDP poll performance to a greater extent. He added that he joined the BJP believing in its developmental vision.
"At that time if I had taken such a decision, the TDP would have been affected even worse as advised by some leaders. That is why I waited. Not for any opportunity purposes. No single person can save the country but I wanted to be a part of the developmental vision," he added.
As TDP spokesperson Dinakar Lanka supported Chowdhury' statement on TDP's wrong decision to leave the NDA, when he was asked about his plans to join the BJP, he defended Naidu's decision saying:
"I also acknowledge what Chowdhury said. It was not a good time to come out of NDA. But Naidu has taken a decision boldly at that point of time," he said.'
Earlier in the day, in the biggest political coup, Chandrababu Naidu's Telegu Desam Party's Rajya Sabha unit passed a resolution to merge the party legislature with the BJP. This development came after 4 Rajya Sabha MPs belonging to TDP, including former Union minister, YS Sujana Choudhary 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."
Earlier, 4 TDP Rajya Sabha MPs namely YS Chaudhary, TG Venkatesh, CM Ramesh, and Garikapati Mohan Rao submitted a letter of resignation to Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu regarding their decision to leave the TDP. 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.
Reacting to the news, Naidu said, "We fought with BJP only for Special Category Status & state's interests We sacrificed Central ministers for Special Status, I condemn the attempts of BJP to weaken TDP. The crisis is not new to the party. Leaders and cadre have nothing to be nervous about."
Currently, the TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, who skipped PM Modi's NITI Aayog meeting and all-party presidents' meeting, is on a holiday touring Europe after he left the country on Wednesday. Naidu along with his family has left on a vacation and is expected to return to Andhra Pradesh on June 26, as per reports.
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.