Amaravati: The Telugu Desam Party suffered yet another blow as its veteran leader and Chirala MLA Karanam Balarama Krishna Murthy on Thursday (March 12, 2020) met Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy here amid indications that he has switched loyalties to the ruling YSR Congress.
Murthy's son Venkatesh formally joined the YSRC but, because of apparent technical reasons, the former did not.
Former MLA Paleti Rama Rao also joined the YSRC on the occasion.
The father and son, besides Rama Rao, met Jagan Mohan Reddy at his residence here on Thursday evening and discussed Chirala constituency development issues.
Murthy is the third MLA of the TDP to switch sides to the YSRC in recent times, though the other two too had not formally joined the ruling outfit.
The TDP had won 23 seats in the elections to the 175-member assembly last year.
While Venkatesh spoke to the media later, his father left soon after meeting the Chief Minister.
We have decades of association with the TDP but, attracted by the welfare programmes of this government, we joined the YSRC. We have our father's support, Venkatesh said.
Murthy, a strong man for the TDP in Prakasam district, had previously served as an MP and an MLC as well.
Meanwhile, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu held a meeting with his party leaders from Prakasam district in the wake of the latest setback and appointed a new in-charge for Chirala constituency, party sources said.
All the three rebel TDP MLAs have not officially become members of the YSRC as they apparently want to avoid attraction of the anti-defection law provisions.
Jagan Mohan Reddy had also set a pre-condition that any legislator wishing to join his party should first resign from their post.
In fact, the first TDP MLA to crossover, Vallabhaneni Vamsi Mohan, used his suspension from the party as a ruse to seek recognition in the assembly as an unattached member.
Shocked by it, the TDP did not suspend Guntur MLA Maddali Giri when he too switched sides.
While three MLCs also jumped over to the YSRC from the TDP, one formally resigned from his post.
In recent days, many former legislators left the TDP and walked over to the YSRC.
The TDP suffered the biggest blow in Kadapa, the Chief Ministers' native district, where former minister Ramasubba Reddy and former MLC Satish Reddy quit the party.
While Ramasubba Reddy joined the YSRC, Satish is expected to follow suit.
In Prakasam district, another former MLA Kadiri Babu Rao too had joined the ruling party.
In Visakhapatnam district, while former MLA S A Rahman already joined the YSRC, another ex-legislator P Ramesh Babu is also expected to follow, having resigned from the TDP.