In a huge setback to former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, four of his party’s six Rajya MPs on Thursday passed a resolution announcing the merger of the TDP Legislature Party’s merger with the BJP.
Among those leaving the TDP to join the BJP former Union Minister YS Chowdary, CM Ramesh, Garikapati Mohan Rao and T G Venkatesh. These MPs announced their decision after they Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu.
This was followed by BJP’s working president JP Nadda joining the leader of the BJP in Rajya Sabha Thawarchand Gehlot to meet Naidu as they too submitted a resolution signed by the party president, Amit Shah, stating that he had no objection to the merger.
Chandrababu Naidu reacted angrily accusing the BJP of attempting to weaken his party. “We fought with BJP only for Special Category Status and state’s interests. We sacrificed central ministers for Special Status, condemn attempts of BJP to weaken TDP. The crisis is not new to the party. Leaders and cadre have nothing to be nervous about,” Naidu was quoted by news agency ANI.
Later Nadda welcomed the three MPs into the BJP while the fourth MP GM Rao will formally join later as he is believed to unwell. Nadda, according to news agency PTI, told reporters in Delhi, “I assure them that the BJP believes in politics of positivity and inclusiveness.”
Chowdary was quick to change his bio on Twitter, where he describes himself as a BJP MP while the feature image of his Twitter profile has his photo with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.
Their decision to back the BJP will give a boost to the saffron party in the upper house as the ruling National Democratic Alliance does not have a majority there yet. The TDP also has three MPs in the Lok Sabha. It’s not clear if they too desert their party to merge themselves with the BJP.