NEW DELHI: In a setback for the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), four of its six Rajya Sabha members of Parliament have split from the party and are set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The TDP legislators met Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu to submit the letter to merge TDP Legislature Party with the BJP.
After meeting Naidu, TDP MPs YS Chowdary, CM Ramesh, TG Venkatesh joined the saffron party in the presence of BJP Working President JP Nadda. TDP Rajya Sabha MP GM Rao will join the party formally later as he is unwell. Speaking to news agency ANI, Venkatesh had earlier said: "I will join BJP. I have been a former member of ABVP and BJP youth wing".
The four TDP MPs said in a resolution that the Legislature Party of TDP in Rajya Sabha met today under the Leadership of legislature Party's leader Y S Chowdary and Legislature Party's Deputy Leader Shri C M Rajesh. The resolution also said that the four of them have decided to merge with the BJP after getting inspired and encouraged by the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In its letter to Naidu, the TDP MPs said: "The Legislature Party of Telugu Desam in Rajya Sabha met today under the Leadership of Legislature Party's Leader, Shri Y.S Chowdary and Legislature Party's Deputy Leader Shri CM Ramesh. Inspired and encouraged by the impeccable leadership of Shri Narendra Modi ji and the developmental policies being pursued by him in the overall interest of the nation, we have decided to merge with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with immediate effect under Paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India."
"After considerable deliberations thereafter, it has been resolved
1. to merge the Legislature Party of the TDP with the Bharatiya Janata Party with immediate effect under Paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
2. to write to the President of Bharatiya Janata Party to accept the merger and convey his acceptance through a resolution to the Hon'ble Chairman of Rajya Sabha, and
3. to write to Hon'ble chairman requesting him to allow the merger under Paragraph 4 of the tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India and treat us as part of the BJP Legislature Party".
The TDP, which is led by former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, has six members in the Upper House of Parliament. With four of them breaking away, it meets the legal requirement of anti-defection law, which mandates the support of at least two-third members for a split to be recognised in Parliament.
The Rajya Sabha has a strength of 245 members and the BJP is the single largest party with 71 MPs.