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Speculation rife about Vijayawada MP Kesineni Nani joining BJP

05-06-201905-06-2019 19:42:22 IST
2019-06-05T14:12:22.780Z05-06-2019 2019-06-05T14:12:15.974Z - - 05-04-2020

Speculation rife about Vijayawada MP Kesineni Nani joining BJP

TDP leader Kesineni Srinivas, who won the Vijayawada parliamentary seat for the consecutive second time seems to be miffed and sources say that he is mulling to switch over to BJP. 

Popularly known as Nani, the MP is in touch with BJP leaders. However, he has yet to decide on the move. However, those in the BJP say they have enough and more MPs and have not approached anyone to engineer a defection.

"It's not yet confirmed whether Nani will join the BJP. We were approached by the BJP. They are not offering anything but are asking if we are interested," said a close aide of the MP.

Nani seems to be looking at greener pastures after the TDP has taken a beating in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh. 

The party has just three seats out of 25 in the Lok Sabha, and just 23 out of 117 seats in the state Assembly. Nani believes that he deserves better in the party, as he won despite the party losing out in the Assembly segments of Vijayawada Parliamentary constituency. The TDP leader defeated YSRCP candidate Potluri Varaprasad by a margin of 8,726 votes.

“In TDP’s history, no leader has won Vijayawada for a second time. The victory was achieved despite a Jagan wave. After the victory, Srinivas wanted a better post, it was a fair demand," said the aide of the MP.

The leader had sought the post of TDP Parliamentary party leader or floor leader but was overlooked in favour of Guntur MP Galla Jayadev and Srikakulam MP Rammohan Naidu respectively.

Nani's close sources say that the chief Whip post was discussed only after the party high command came to know about BJP's approach to Vijayawada MP.

While rejecting the offer of the Whip post, Nani sarcastically told the media, "I thank Sri Chandrababu Naidu garu for appointing me as Party Whip in Lok Sabha. But I humbly request him to appoint someone else who is more capable and efficient than me to that post, as I feel I’m not suitable to handle the responsibilities of such a big post."

The BJP meanwhile is happy about the infighting brewing in the TDP. The party denied having approached any of the three TDP MPs to defect but is not averse to the idea of anyone defecting on their own.

"What is the necessity for BJP to approach someone in the TDP? There is no requirement for the BJP to approach anyone," said Penmetsa Vishnu Kumar Raju, a former BJP MLA, "These kinds of discussions, if at all they take place, will not be at the state level. Maybe a sympathiser could have talked to them, but that can’t be treated as an official or serious invite. It depends on what level people are talking. The BJP on its own has 303 seats and doesn’t need to approach others to join the party, but if others want to join on their own it’s a different issue.”

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