Five TDP MPs Meet VP Naidu, Challenge Colleagues’ Merger With BJP

The TDP MPs said that they have decided to merge the TDP legislature party with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Updated21 Jun 2019, 02:43 PM IST
Politics
4 min read

Five Telugu Desam Party MPs – two from Rajya Sabha and three from Lok Sabha – met Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday, 21 June, evening to challenge four of their colleagues who earlier switched over to the BJP.

TDP’s four Rajya Sabha MPs – YS Chowdary, TG Venkatesh, GM Rao and CM Ramesh – resigned from the party, submitting their resignation letters to Venkaiah Naidu in Delhi on Thursday.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday confirmed that the names of the four MPs have been added to the BJP list and they will be recognised as BJP members in Rajya Sabha, ANI reported.

“The whole process has been completed today and the Rajya Sabha chairman’s office has informed us that these four names have been added to BJP list and they will be recognised as BJP members in Rajya Sabha.”
Prakash Javadekar

TDP Parliamentary leader Galla Jayadev, after meeting the vice president told ANI that the merger of a political party takes place at an organisational level and not legislature party level, hence making it an illegal merger.

“Yesterday four Rajya Sabha members of TDP had given a letter saying that they are merging the legislature party in Rajya Sabha and since they have 2/3rd majority, it should be accepted without any disqualification,” he said on Friday.

“Having gone through the law what we now understand is, merger of a political party has to take place at only organisational level. It cannot take place at legislature party level. Since TDP and BJP have not merged at the organisational level this is not a legal merger.”
Galla Jayadev to ANI

He further said “this is what we explained to Vice President, he said that he will review the legalities of it and do whatever is necessary according to the law. We have to wait & see. We've given the letter, well be giving letter to Parliamentary Affairs Minister also.”

Five TDP MPs Meet VP Naidu, Challenge Colleagues’ Merger With BJP
(Photo: Telugu Desam Party)

In a statement on a TDP letterhead, the TDP MPs said that they have decided to merge the TDP legislature party with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with immediate effect under Para 4 of the tenth schedule to the Constitution of India.

The statement also said that they will write to the BJP President to accept the merger and confirm his acceptance through a resolution to the chairman of Rajya Sabha.

Taking stock of the situation, Naidu, vacationing in Europe with his family, spoke to a couple of senior TDP leaders over the phone on Thursday, party sources cited by PTI said.

TDP Rejects the Letter, Party Assesses Legality of the Merger

Galla Jayadev on Thursday said, “TDP President didn't accept it (the letter). I, being Parliamentary Party leader didn't sign that letter. Four members are independently writing to merge the party, and we're assessing if it's legal or not.”

He added, “Three Lok Sabha and two Rajya Sabha MPs are still with TDP, so we're not sure if it's possible.”

Citing the false accusations against TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu, he said, “The four MPs are propagating that this is to help Chandrababu Naidu or for good of TDP, which is absolutely wrong. I want to dismiss that completely. Naidu hasn't asked or consented for them to go. So question of them doing it for his sake is absolutely false and malicious.”

Naidu, in a statement, said that the party fought with BJP only for a Special Category Status and the state's interests. He said that they had sacrificed Central Ministers for Special Status, and condemned the attempts of BJP to weaken the party.

“Such crisis is not new to the party. Leaders and cadre have nothing to be nervous about.”
Chandrababu Naidu, President, TDP
TDP MPs with Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP Working President JP Nadda.
TDP MPs with Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP Working President JP Nadda.
(Photo: ANI)

The desertion by the four MPs comes barely a month after the TDP was trounced in the Assembly elections by the YSR Congress headed by Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Responding to the rumblings in TDP, the BJP state unit said TDP might become "an empty house" by the time Naidu returned from his foreign sojourn.

"The political face of AP will change by the time Naidu returns. Many TDP leaders, including former ministers and legislators, are ready to switch over and join the BJP," state vice-president S Vishnuvardhan Reddy claimed.

Over a dozen senior TDP leaders, including former legislators, also reportedly held a 'secret' meeting in Kakinada apparently to discuss about their future course of action.

Disappointment in TDP?

Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy had announced in the state Assembly recently that some of the TDP MLAs were "in touch" with him in a bid to jump ship.

Incidentally, TDP Lok Sabha member from Vijayawada, Kesineni Srinivas (Nani) is said to be seriously unhappy with the TDP leadership.

He has been making snide remarks against the party leadership on social media.

(With inputs from ANI)

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Published: 20 Jun 2019, 12:30 PM IST

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