UPDATE: Following Dinakar Lanka, TDP Business Cell Secretary, Koneru Venkata Krishnan joined BJP too.
In yet another blow to the Chandrababu Naidu-led party -Telugu Desam Party, TDP spokesperson Dinakar Lanka, on Wednesday has quit the party and has joined the BJP in the presence of BJP working president JP Nadda, as confirmed by Lanka himself to Republic TV.
"I have resigned from Telugu Desam party and have joined the BJP at the national office in the presence of BJP working president JP Nadda," said Lanka adding, "I want to build this nation and want to walk on that path along with Modiji."
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, last Thursday. Following this news, the party's Rajya Sabha unit passed a resolution to merge the party legislature with the BJP.
After the mega exodus of MPs from TDP to BJP, Lanka supported Chowdhury' statement on TDP's wrong decision to leave the NDA, in conversation with Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on last Thursday.
"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.
A day after the four MPs' exit and merger resolution, in an act of rebellion, five TDP MPs have met with Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in the national capital on last 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.
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.