Less than a month after facing a humiliating defeat in the Andhra Pradesh assembly elections, the Telugu Desam Party plunged into a major crisis on Thursday with four of its six Rajya Sabha members resigning from the party and joining the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The four MPs — Y S Chowdary alias Sujana Chowdary, T G Venkatesh, C M Ramesh and Garikapati Mohan Rao — met Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and submitted a letter requesting that they be recognized as a separate group in the Upper House and be allowed to merge with the BJP.
The four MPs had earlier in the day had a brief meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president and home minister Amit Shah and formally expressed their desire to join the party. Later, they also held deliberations with BJP working president J P Nadda, a TDP leader familiar with the development said.
While Chowdary, Venkatesh and Ramesh represent Andhra Pradesh, Mohan Rao is from Telangana. With the defection of four MPs, the TDP is left with only two MPs in Rajya Sabha – Kanakamedla Ravindra Kumar and Thota Seetharama Lakshmi.