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4 TDP MPs merge in BJP in Rajya Sabha

News Agencies | Updated on: 22 June 2019, 8:53 IST

Four Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MPs have been merged with BJP Parliamentary Party by Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Friday.

With the dissident MPs joining BJP camp, the BJP's tally has reached to 75 in the upper House of Parliament.

"The whole process has been completed today and the Rajya Sabha Chairman's office has informed us that these four names have been added to BJP list and they will be recognised as BJP members in the Rajya Sabha," Javadekar said here.

The minister's claim was supported by the Rajya Sabha official website which shows BJP's numbers at 75, while TDP's tally is reduced from six to two in the House.

Rajya Sabha MPs -- YS Chowdary, C M Ramesh, T G Venkatesh, all from Andhra Pradesh, and G Mohan Rao who hails from Telangana, had on Thursday claimed to have merged themselves with the BJP. They later joined the BJP in presence of its Woking President J P Nadda.

The development comes hours after a delegation of five TDP parliamentarians met Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu and urged him to reject the claim of the four of their dissident members of a merger with the BJP.

The delegation comprising Lok Sabha MPs Jayadev Galla, K Rammohan Naidu and Kesineni Srinivas and Rajya Sabha members K Ravindra Kumar and T S Ramalakshmi told Naidu that the TDP would move an application for disqualification of the MPs and asked him not to treat the defecting MPs as part of the BJP Parliamentary Party.

Later talking to reporters, they said the Rajya Sabha Chairman had no independent power to decide whether there had been a split or merger under the anti-defection law and such a decision could be taken only when the question of disqualification arises.

The move is seen as a major setback to N Chandrababu Naidu-led party which suffered massive losses in the recent elections. The party lost power to YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh and could manage to win a meagre three seats in Lok Sabha.


First published: 22 June 2019, 8:53 IST