In another major setback to former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, nearly 60 prominent national, state and district level leaders of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) along with thousands of party workers joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday in Hyderabad in the presence of BJP working president JP Nadda.
According to reports, the BJP national working president JP Nadda was in Hyderabad on Sunday to welcome the former TDP members. “In total, close to 70 leaders joined our party and about 20% of them are from the Congress. Moreover, about 20,000-odd cadre of theirs have also joined the BJP,” said a BJP leader from Telangana.
Lanka Dinakar, who himself had shifted from TDP to BJP in June earlier this year said that the joining of TDP leaders was a very good sign for Telangana BJP unit.
“Thousands of TDP workers have joined the BJP. Besides them, around 60 prominent national, state and district level leaders have joined the BJP in the presence of JP Nadda. Many are coming forward to join our party after passage of Triple Talaq Bill and abrogation of Article 370,” Dinakar added.
Telangana BJP leaders said some Congress leaders had also joined their party. Many TDP leaders had earlier quit and joined either the Congress or the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) led by chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao before the elections.
However, there has been a mass exodus of TDP leaders to the BJP in Telangana, which hopes to replace the Congress and emerge as an alternative to the TRS in the state after winning four Lok Sabha seats and attracting leaders from other parties.
The BJP is making slow inroads at the expense of the Congress party in the Telangana, especially since the last two years. Though it did not make any gains in the Telangana state assembly elections but won four Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 elections and even increased its vote share to 20%. The Congress only managed to win three parliamentary seats, while the ruling TRS won nine.
The Telugu Desam Party is fighting an existential battle as most of its cadre and senior leaders have left the party to join the BJP post the 2019 elections rout. In June, four out of the six Telugu Desam Party MPs had resigned from the party. S Chowdary, CM Ramesh, TG Venkatesh, the TDP MPs from Andhra Pradesh and lone party MP from Telangana Garikapati Mohan Rao had passed a resolution following their decision to quit the party and join BJP.
Recently, former MLA of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) JC Prabhakar Reddy had said that the party led by Chandrababu Naidu will merge into the BJP.