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Thursday, 20 June 2019

In jolt to TDP, 4 Rajya Sabha members from party likely to join BJP

In jolt to TDP, 4 Rajya Sabha members from party likely to join BJP



The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) received a major jolt on Thursday as four out of its six Rajya Sabha members reportedly expressed willingness to switch to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Former Union minister YS Chowdary, CM Ramesh and TG Venkatesh are among the four TDP leaders, while the identity of the fourth MP is not presently known.

The four MPs submitted a letter to Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu seeking that they should be recognised as a separate group.

Chowdary, former Union Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, had attracted controversy recently as the Enforcement Directorate had attached assets worth Rs 315 crore in connection with an alleged money laundering and bank fraud case against a firm promoted by him.

The ED had taken up the case on the basis of a CBI FIR filed against Best and Crompton Engineering Pvt Ltd (BCEPL) and their officials, who allegedly entered into a criminal conspiracy during 2010-2013 for 'defrauding Central Bank of India, Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank'.

The impending exit of four MPs comes as further bad news for an already beleaguered TDP, which won only 3 out of 25 Lok Sabha seats and 23 out of 175 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh in the recently-concluded elections. Earlier, in the Telangana Assembly election, the TDP had allied with the Congress and put up 13 candidates, but garnered a vote share of just 3.5 percent.

The reported decision of the TDP MPs to jump ship to the BJP follows a trend that is playing out across the country. Only days earlier, a Trinamool Congress MLA and 15 councilors of the party in West Bengal joined the BJP in New Delhi.
Noapara MLA Sunil Singh, along with the 15 TMC councillors and another Congress councilor, joined the BJP on Monday in the presence of general secretary and West Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya, and senior leader Mukul Roy.


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