Hyderabad: In a major blow to former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and the Telugu Desam, four Rajya Sabha members switched over to the BJP on Thursday in a high-speed operation that was completed in an hour.
Mr Naidu is on vacation abroad with his family. Rajya Sabha members Y. Sujana Chowdary and C.M. Ramesh T.G. Venkatesh and Garikapati Mohan Rao joined the BJP in the presence of its working president J.P. Nadda. The TD is now left with just two Rajya Sabha members — Thota Sitara-malaxmi and Kanakame-dala Ravindra Kumar.
The MPs followed the path of Congress defectors to avoid disqualification under the anti-defection Act. The law states that if two-thirds of members of a party want to join another party, disqualification is not applicable to them. The TD has six Rajya Sabha members and four members (two-thirds of total members) held a meeting and decided to merge the TD legislature party in the Rajya Sabha with the BJP, thus avoiding disqualification under the anti defection law.
After passing the resolution on merging with the BJP, the four TD MPs met Vice-President and Chair-man of the Rajya Sabha M. Venkaiah Naidu and submitted the resolution on the merger. The resolution said they were “inspired and encouraged by the impeccable leadership of Mr Modi and the development policies pursued by him” and so have decided to merge with the BJP with immediate effect.
What makes the defection of Mr Chowdary and Mr Ramesh so surprising is that they were both confidants and right hand men of TD chief Chandrababu Naidu....