Vijayawada: Rampachodavaram YSRC MLA V. Rajeswari joined the Telugu Desam in the presence of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday, the 22nd Opposition legislator to defect to the ruling party.
Her defection comes just two days before YSRC president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy sets out on his padayatra. Another three or four MLAs are expected to join the TD during the course of his padayatra.
For the TD, the timing of the YSRC defection couldn’t have been more right. The YSRC chief, however, is also relieved and has reportedly told his party cadre that he is glad be-cause the defections will give him the opportunity to select more deserving freshers.
Speaking to the media, Ms Rajeswari said she had joined the TD because she had witnessed the impressive development that was taking place under Mr Naidu’s leadership.
She said, she also disagreed with the YSRC chief’s decision to boycott the Assembly session.
“Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy is the Leader of the Oppo-sition and the YSRC is the only Opposition party in the Assembly. The decision to boycott the session sends out the wrong signal”, said Ms Rajeswari.
TD leaders are not so comfortable with the new entrants as it would create more competition for election tickets in 2019. The Centre has not assured Mr Naidu about the enhancement of the Assembly seats to 225 from 175.
“Our party is heading towards bad days as YSRC MLAs joining the TD are a liability”, a TD leader said and added that genuine TD leaders will have to struggle to get tickets. Unless there is enhancement of seats, accommodating all these defected MLAs in 2019 itself would be greatly difficult, he felt.
Leaders in the YSRC camp feel that the YSRC chief and other seniors are just observing how things roll and are waiting for their turn to react. which they will do during the padayatra.