Exodus continues from YSRC

Advantage TDP: YSR Congress leader K. Sarveswara Rao (Araku MLA) joins the TDP in the presence of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in Vijayawada on Thursday. Photos: V. Raju

Advantage TDP: YSR Congress leader K. Sarveswara Rao (Araku MLA) joins the TDP in the presence of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in Vijayawada on Thursday. Photos: V. Raju  

: Two YSR Congress MLAs, one former MLA, several YSRC ZPTC members joined the Telugu Desam Party on Thursday. This takes the number of YSR Congress MLAs who crossed over to the ruling party to 16.

Srisailam MLA Budda Rajasekhara Reddy and Araku MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao were accorded a warm welcome into the TDP by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday. Mr. Naidu participated in public meetings organised to mark the occasions and thanked the leaders and their followers for joining the TDP.

In a related development, senior Congress leader and former Minister Gade Venkata Reddy announced that he was going to join the TDP soon.

“Who is the next YSR Congress MLA that is going to join the TDP and will the trickle turn into a torrent?” were the questions making the rounds in political circles.

‘More on the way’

“Going by the level of dissatisfaction in the YSRC, at least 30 more MLAs will join the TDP in the next couple of weeks,” said Jaleel Khan, Vijayawada West MLA, who defected to the TDP recently.

Political heavyweights like former Minister Mysura Reddy have already declared their intention to come out of the party.

The reason given by the defecting MLAs seems to be the same. Most of them have said they were doing it for the development of their constituencies. But the more vocal defectors said that they left the party vexed with the attitude of party president Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy, who they allege, was “inaccessible and irreverent.”

“We had no role to play in the Assembly except sit behind him and walk out of the House along with him. On one occasion, all the MLAs were busy discussing some issue and Mr Jagan said he was walking out and left. We had no inkling, but had to follow suit,” Mr. Khan said when reporters asked him what caused a change of heart.

Why are the MLAs defecting one after another rather than in a group? There seems be a clear change in the dynamics now. Earlier, the defectors were reluctant, but now the TDP leaders are cautious.

“The leaders in Telugu Desam Party have become obstacles. For example, in Krishna district, Gudivada MLA Kodali Srivenkateswara Rao (alias Nani) is an ideal candidate for defection, but he has several powerful rivals in the TDP. The leaders in the party have cleared the line for a former MLA who is in the YSRC and a former Minister who is in the Congress, but they are in no mood to oblige when it comes to Nani, ” said a former YSRC MLA who was fortunate to catch the bus early.

Calculated move

Mr. Sarveswara Rao is the first tribal MLA in the current dispensation to switch sides. His joining the TDP is seen as a move aimed at placating the tribal people who are protesting against bauxite mining in the Jerrela and Chintapalli reserve forest. The TDP also needs tribal representation in the Cabinet. Former MLA Gandi Babji, who had represented the Congress in the Parawada constituency in Visakhapatnam district, also joined the TDP along with the Araku MLA.

Mr. Rajasekhara Reddy is the fourth YSRC MLA from Kurnool district to join the TDP.

The latest to join Telugu Desam Party are legislators from Srisailam

and Araku

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2020 8:15:11 PM |

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