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5 TDP lawmakers meet Vice President over colleagues switching to BJP

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New Delhi, June 21: Five lawmakers of Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party, two from Rajya Sabha and three from Lok Sabha met Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, challenging four of their colleagues switching over to the BJP.

TDP Rajya Sabha MPs Y Sujana Chowdary (2nd L), TG Venkatesh and CM Ramesh join BJP in the presence of partys Working President JP Nadda (C) and partys senior leader BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav (L), in New Delhi

TDP MP Jayadev Galla said that the merger of a political party can take place only at an organisational level, as per the Tenth Schedule in the Constitution.

"Yesterday, four Rajya Sabha members of TDP had given a letter saying that they are merging the legislature party in Rajya Sabha and since they have 2/3rd majority, it should be accepted without any disqualification," said Galla.

"Having gone through the law, what we now understand is that the merger of a political party has to take place at only organisational level. It cannot take place at the legislature party level. Since the TDP and the BJP have not merged at the organisational level, this is not a legal merger."

Setback for Chandrababu Naidu as 4 TDP Rajya Sabha MPs join BJP

"Since there has been no organisational merger between the TDP and the BJP, their resolution for merger of the TDP Legislature Party in the Rajya Sabha with that of the BJP should be rejected at the outset," he added.

Four TDP Rajya Sabha members of Parliament (MPs) on Thursday said they have "decided to merge" the TDP's Legislature Party with the BJP with immediate effect "under Paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India".

The anti-defection law, added to the Constitution as the Tenth Schedule by the 52nd amendment during Rajiv Gandhi's tenure as the Prime Minister in 1985, makes it mandatory that two-thirds of the strength of a party should agree to a 'merger'.

Chandrababu Naidu, who is currently in Europe with family, yesterday tried to downplay his MPs switching to the BJP and said the TDP "will be back" and crises were nothing new to it.

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