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Rajya Sabha approves TDP MPs' move to join BJP

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New Delhi, June 21: A day after they announced merging their Legislature Party in Rajya Sabha with the BJP, the Upper House Friday recognised four TDP MPs as BJP members, giving a boost to the saffron party's strength in the Upper House of Parliament.

TDP Rajya Sabha MPs meet BJP President Amit Shah after joining the party

The remaining five Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MPs -- three from Lok Sabha and two from Rajya Sabha -- Friday met Rajya Saba chairman M Venkaiah Naidu demanding disqualification of the four members who joined the BJP.

Sources said the Rajya Sabha Chairman has taken cognisance of the developments relating to the legislature parties of TDP and BJP which happened under sections 4 of the anti-defection law, which is a deemed provision.

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They added that further to the chairman taking cognisance of this development, the Rajya Sabha secretariat has updated the position regarding the strength of the BJP and the TDP in the Upper House.

Their seats, however, are yet to be changed in the Rajya Sabha, as they continued to sit on their old seats on Friday.

The BJP now has a strength of 75 and the TDP two in the Rajya Sabha. The NDA does not have a majority in the Upper House.

Three TDP Lok Sabha MPs Jayadev Galla, Srinivas Kesineni and Kinjarapu Ram Mohan Naidu, and two Rajya Sabha MPs Ravindra Kumar Kanakamedala and Thota Seetharama Lakshmi said the chairman should disqualify the four RS TDP members.

The four TDP MPs in Rajya Sabha -- Y S Chowdary, C M Ramesh, Garikapoati Mohan Rao and T G Venkatesh -- met Naidu Thursday and handed him a letter seeking the merger of TDP Legislature Party with the BJP with immediate effect, under Paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

While Chowdary was the chairman of the TDP Legislature Party, Ramesh was his deputy.

This happened at a time when TDP supremo and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is away in Europe. He has sought to downplay the development saying his party will come back as such crises are not new to the party and have happened in the past too.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, "The whole process has been completed today and the Rajya Sabha chairman's office has informed us that these four names have been added to BJP list. They will now be recognised as BJP members in Rajya Sabha."

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