Telangana: Last two TDP MLAs defect to TRS

The only two remaining Telugu Desam Party Legislators in Telangana Wednesday evening joined the ruling party and merged the TDP Legislature Party (TDPLP) into Telangana Rashtra Samithi Legislature Party (TRSLP).

Mecha Nageshwara Rao who represents Ashwaraopet constituency and Sandra Venkata Veeraiah who represents Sathupalli were the only MLAs in Telangana Legislative Assembly to have won on TDP tickets. On Wednesday, Nageshwara Rao maintained that he could not do justice to the people of his constituency in the last two and a half years, and being the ruling party’s MLA could help him serve the people better.

The two MLAs gave a letter to the Assembly speaker Pocharam Sreenivas Reddy requesting the merger. This followed their meeting with Chief Minister and TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao at Pragathi Bhavan.

With this development, the TRS has 101 members in the 119-member house whereas the AIMIM, Congress, and BJP have 7, 6, and 2 MLAs. Two others are independents who have aligned themselves to TRS.

In the 2018 general elections, TRS had won 88 seats. Later, 12 Congress MLAs joined TRS. However, the demise of TRS MLA in Dubbak resulted in BJP wresting the seat and improving its strength from one to two. Another bypoll is now necessitated in the Nagarjuna Sagar segment due to the death of TRS MLA Nomula Narsimhaiah. The byelection is scheduled for April 17, and the result will be declared on May 2.

In a bulletin from the state Legislature on Wednesday, the Secretary said that the two TDP MLAs submitted a letter to the Speaker stating that they have resolved to merge with TRSLP under Paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India and requested to take appropriate action in the matter. Similarly, the TRS too communicated to the Speaker regarding the merger of TDPLP into it. The merger was deemed and accordingly, the two members were allotted seats along with the Members of TRSLP in the House, the bulletin said.

Founded in 1982 by the legendary NT Rama Rao, TDP stormed to power in 1983 riding on the theme of self-respect for Telugu people. The party was in power till 1989 and remained in power from 1994 to 2004. Even in the 2014 general elections held soon after the bifurcation of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, the TDP had managed to win as many as 15 seats in Telangana while forming its government in the residual state.