VIJAYAWADA/HYDERABAD: In an electrict development in the politics of Andhra Pradesh, five lawmakers, four MLAs and one MLC, of the Opposition party YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh today defected to the ruling Telugu Desam Party.
They said more will follow suit even as the Leader of the Opposition Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy rushed to the national capital to confabulate with Union government leaders.
The four YSRC MLAs -- Bhuma Nagi Reddy (Nandyal), his daughter Akhila Priya ((Allagadda), Adinarayana Reddy (Jammalamadugu) and Jaleel Khan (Vijayawada West) -- joined the TDP at the riverfront residence of TDP president and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday evening.
Naidu welcomed the YSRC rebels into his party by adorning them with yellow scarves. With these defections, the TDP’s numerical strength in the 175-member AP Assembly goes up to 106.
Bhuma Nagi Reddy denied he defected because he was promised a Cabinet berth. "I would not have been in the opposition for 20 years if I wanted to become a minister. It is only for the sake of development that I returned to the TDP," he said.
"There has been no development in my constituency in the last 20 years as I was in the opposition," he said.
Asked how many more lawmakers of the Jagan-led outfit were ready to jump sides, the defectors Bhuma Reddy and Adinarayana Reddy said, "This is the first rebellion. Many more will follow suit but it is not good to reveal the numbers at this point."
With the TDP leadership stepping up its efforts to poach from the YSRC, Jagan Mohan Reddy air-dashed to the national capital.
Jagan’s sudden Delhi yatra along with his party MPs is curious as this is ahead of BJP boss Amit Shah’s proposed visit to AP, slated for March 6.
Sources said Reddy sought an appointment with President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
YSRC sources said Jagan might explain the political situation prevailing in AP to the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister.
Interestingly, this development took place against the backdrop of the issue of summons to Jagan and 18 others, taking cognizance of the second charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate on investments made by some firms in Jagan’s companies, by a local court a few days ago.
All the 19, including Jagan, were asked to appear in court on March 28 in connection with this.