Hyderabad: Just four days after a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP joined the main opposition YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), P. Ravindra Babu, TDP MP from the Amalapuram Lok Sabha seat, also quit and joined the Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP on Monday. Prior to this, Avanthi Srinivas, TDP’s Anakapalli Lok Sabha MP, had quit the party on 14 February.
TDP leaders who did not want to be named said that Babu quit as he learned that he would not be given the Lok Sabha ticket again in the coming polls. “A few MLAs are also likely to quit and join the YSRCP as the party is looking to replace about 30% of its MLAs in the coming assembly elections. Those who are disgruntled might leave," said a senior leader who did not want to be named.
The TDP leader added that Babu and Srinivas quitting the party will not have a major impact as their performance as MPs had not been great. “Babu is, in fact, ready to settle for an MLA ticket, and even that has not been assured to him by the YSRCP," he added. The only concern the TDP has, he pointed out, was if senior TDP leader Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy joins the YSRCP, given the fact that he is financially strong and also influential.
“Sreenivasulu contested the Lok Sabha elections as a Congress candidate from the Ongole seat in 2014 and he lost by 12,000 votes. He later joined the TDP. We have been hearing that he might also quit, even though he has been assured of a seat. So that is our only concern, as he is quite influential," informed the TDP leader.
On Monday, Ravindra Babu in a press statement said TDP supremo and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu failed to get “anything from the Centre" and that the state will not prosper till Naidu is heading it. Apart from him and Avanthi Srinivas, Amanchi Krishna, who represents the Chirala MLA seat in Andhra Pradesh, quit the TDP and joined the YSRCP a few weeks ago.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which the TDP contested in a pre-poll alliance with the BJP, the TDP had won 15 seats while the YSRCP had won eight (three MPs subsequently defected to the TDP), out of the total 25 parliament seats in Andhra Pradesh.