VIJAYAWADA: Notwithstanding efforts of Leader of Opposition YS Jaganmohan Reddy, the exodus from his party to the ruling Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh continues unabated. Latest to join TDP from YSRC is Palaparthi David Raju, Yerragondapalem legislator from Prakasam district.
David Raju met Chief MInister N Chandrababu Naidu at latter’s residence in Vijayawada on Sunday morning in presence of transport minister Sidda Raghava Rao, who is also from Prakasam district and TDP Andhra president K Kala Venkata Rao. He was welcomed back into the party by its supremo Chandrababu Naidu with a party kanduva.
David Raju started his political career with TDP and was an active leader of that party in Prakasam district for 24 years, before joining YSRC in 2011. He got elected as MLA of Yerragondapalem on YSRC party ticket in 2014 elections.
Later speaking to mediapersons about his defection to the ruling party, he claimed he did it for the development of his constituency, which is the most backward in the Prakasam district. “We are bereft of drinking and irrigation water. Chandrababu Naidu had promised to complete the Velugonda Project by 2018, which will benefit my constituency the most. Further, he had even assured to sanction Rs 4 crore to mitigate drinking water crisis in the constituency,” he said.
Expressing happiness to be back in his parent party after a gap of five years, David Raju said he had played a key role in the party affairs in the district for 24 years and was a ZP chairperson, when Chandrababu Naidu laid foundation stone for Velugonda Project. “For my personal reasons, I left the party and joined YSRC. But, I came back to TDP, as I understood it is only Chandrababu Naidu, who can develop the state and my constituency,” he said.
David Raju even claimed that people of his constituency desired development and felt it was only possible with Chandrababu Naidu, which also influence his decision. Asked if it he who had approached TDP or they who had approached him, legislator said any decision can only be made mutually and did not elaborate. “Now development takes precedence over politics. It is only till elections, politics matter,” he said.
TDP MLA Bonda Umamaheswara Rao said people are joining TDP believing in the leadership of N Chandrababu Naidu and understanding that development can only happen with Chandrababu Naidu. He said it is a fitting lesson to those who want to play politics in the name of caste, religion and region.
Yerragondapalem MLA’s defection from YSRC to TDP happens two day after he met YSRC chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy in Hyderabad along with other MLAs of that party to reassure that they are not leaving the party. David Raju had even announced that he will stay with YSRC all his life. Talk in the ruling party circles is that two more MLAs of YSRC from Prakasam district and two from North Andhra districts may defect to TDP.
Now, question seems not if any MLA from the Opposition will defect to the ruling party, but who will be the next in line to leave YSRC for TDP ?