Hyderabad: With the desertion of a large number of leaders from the district unit of the Telugu Desam who are joining the BJP, the party, which always had a strong base in Telangana state, is disappearing into history.
The desertion of leaders started after party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu moved to Vijayawada in 2015. The Telugu Desam became a leader-based party rather than a cadre based party.
After the results of the December 2018 elections, matters got worse for the TD; now only a few leaders remain, the most prominent being the party state unit president L. Ramana and party politburo member R. Chandrasekhar Reddy. The party had won some seats in the 2014 and 2018 Assembly elections, but was not able to retain them. For the first time since its formation, it did not contest the LS polls.
The two MLAs elected in 2018 are keeping their distance from the Telugu Desam and moving closer to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
Senior party leaders who have joined the BJP include M. Narasimhulu and the lone Rajya Sabha member from the state Garikapati Mohan Rao.
Mr T. Devender Goud, another senior TD leader, is likely to join the BJP along with Mr Vikram Goud in a couple of days.
On Sunday, several district level leaders of the TD from across the state joined the BJP in the presence of the party working president, Mr J.P. Nadda.
The BJP is welcoming everyone, from a gully leader to a state leader, so that the Telugu Desam’s head office at Banjara Hills, which had was a busy place for close to three decades, is now looking deserted.