After YSR Congress legislator from Patapatnam in Srikakulam, yet another MLA left the opposition and crossed over to the ruling Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh today.
With this, the total number of YSRC MLAs to have crossed over to the TDP increased to seven. Another YSRC MLA is set to return to the TDP on March 4.
M Mani Gandhi, MLA from Kodumuru (SC) in Kurnool district, formally joined the TDP in the presence of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu here today.
Deputy Chief Minister K E Krishna Murthy, ministers Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, Atchannaidu and other leaders were present on the occasion.
Kurnool had been one of the strongholds of the YSRC but now three of its 11 MLAs deserted it and jumped on to the TDP bandwagon.
MLAs Bhuma Nagi Reddy and his daughter Akhila Priya joined the TDP on February 22.
Two MLAs from Kadapa, one each from Vijayawada, Prakasam district also joined the TDP since then.
One MLC from Kadapa district, native of YSRC president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, also switched sides to the ruling party.
Patapatnam MLA from Srikakulam district K V Ramana Murthy announced yesterday that he would formally return to his parent TDP on March 4.
All those who defected to the TDP had only one explanation: “We are impressed by the development agenda of the Chief Minister. We have decided to be partners in the development process.”
YSRC president Jagan, however, has been alleging that the TDP was unabashedly “purchasing” their legislators with offers up to Rs 30 crore.
YSRC had won 67 seats in the 175-member AP Assembly in 2014. With the defections till date, its strength has reduced to 60.