VIJAYAWADA: Political circles in Andhra Pradesh are agog with speculations that another August crisis is brewing in Opposition TD as the BJP has unleashed operation Akarsh in the state.
For TD, August is infamous as the party faced crisis several times, in the past, in the same month. As per highly placed sources in the BJP, many TD bigwigs are in touch with them and ready to jump the ship.
The TD leaders had reportedly waited for the auspicious Sravana Masam to quit the party and join the BJP. Coincidentally, this year too, Sravana Masam begins this August. Many TD leaders, especially MLAs, are said to be ready to join BJP, by plunging N. Chandrababu Naidu’s party into a major crisis.
It was in August that TD founder late N.T. Rama Rao had to face a coup in 1984 by his deputy Nadendla Bhaskar Rao. Later, in 1995, in another August, N. Chandrababu Naidu dethroned his father-in-law and the founder of TD and became the chief minister. It was in August Basheerbagh firing took place that had brought ill name to TD. It was in August, late N.T. Rama Rao’s son Nandamuri Harikrishna had revolted against his brother-in-law and then chief minister Naidu. It was in August that Harikrishna died in a gory road mishap.
“There are several leaders from TD who are in touch with us. They have been waiting for the auspicious Sravana Masam to herald a new beginning. They will begin joining BJP shortly. The TD leaders have lost confidence in the leadership of the party. They all know that there is no future to TD and queuing to BJP is the only hope in the state,” said a BJP leader.
Four TD Rajya Sabha members, led by former Union minister Sujana Chowdhary, crossed over to the BJP. “If the BJP becomes successful in pulling 2/3rd of the TD’s 23 MLAs, Naidu’s party will lose Opposition status in the state Assembly.
With 2/3rd of the MLAs asking the Speaker of the Assembly to merge the party having maximum MLAs with the BJP or to consider them as a separate group, they may escape a disqualification under the Anti-Defection Law.
As per Assembly norms, a party should have 10 per cent of the MLAs of the House to enjoy the Opposition status. Given the numbers in the AP Assembly, a party should have at least 17 MLAs to be an Opposition party. Even if six MLAs leave TD, the party will lose the Opposition status. But now, the BJP is trying to poach 2/3rd of the 23 MLAs of TD....