VIJAYAWADA: The Telugu Desam’s struggle to hold its flock together in the Legislative Council against the onslaught of the YSRC received a setback on Sunday as six of its MLCs skipped the meeting convened by party president N. Chandrababu Naidu. The TD had directed all its MLCs to attend the meeting to discuss the future course of action on the three capitals legislation and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s threat to abolish the Legislative Council.
According to sources, the YSRC is planning to lure TD MLCs to its fold to weaken the party which enjoys majority in the Council. Ever since the TD-dominated Council rejected the three capitals Bills, Mr Reddy has been contemplating abolition of the Upper House or gaining majority by poaching Opposition members.
On Sunday, TD MLCs K.E. Prabhakar, G. Saraswathi, Tippe Swa-my, A.S. Ramakrishna and S. Vijayarama Raju stayed away from the meeting.
Sources said all is not hunky dory in the TD over its opposition to the three capitals idea with legislators and leaders of Rayalaseema, Coastal Andhra and North Andhra regions resenting Mr Naidu’s stand.
While TD MLCs Pothula Sunita and Shivanath Reddy revolted against the party by violating its whip, another member, Mr Dokka Manikyavara-prasada Rao, resigned from the party as well as the Council.
Sunday’s development left the remaining Council members worried about their future. The TD leadership is also equally worried with Mr Reddy announcing his decision to hold an Assembly session in three days to start the process of abolition of the Council and ruling party leaders launching concerted efforts to engineer defection of Opposition members. The Telugu Desam is desperately trying to keep its members together.