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Irked by TDP leaders, Silpa Mohan Reddy quits

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 12, 2018

TDP leader Silpa Mohan Reddy joining the YSR Congress Party in the presence of YSR CP president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, in Hyderabad on Wednesday   -  PTI

Joins YSR CP, adding to recurrent trend of party-hopping in Andhra Pradesh

The ruling TDP in Andhra Pradesh got a minor jolt on Wednesday as Silpa Mohan Reddy, a former minister and party in charge of Nandyal, quit and joined rival YSR Congress Party (YSR CP).

A formidable force in the faction-ridden district, the Silpa brothers, Mohan Reddy and Chakrapani Reddy, have been strong TDP loyalists. Mohan Reddy joined the YSR CP here in the presence of party chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Party hopping has been rampant in the State since 2014, when the TDP came to power in alliance with the BJP (106 seats), and the YSR CP emerged the main opposition with 67 seats in the 175-member Legislative Assembly. The two sides were evenly matched in the Rayalseema region, which consists of Kurnool, Kadapa, Chittoor and Anantapur districts.

The first major shift was by the Bhuma family, with Nagi Reddy, representing Nandyal, and his daughter Akhila Priya of Allagadda, moving from YSR CP to TDP in 2016. In response, the rival Gangula family — Pratap and Prabhakar Reddy — moved to YSR CP from TDP. The latter was rewarded with an MLC seat. Periodically, several MLAs and MLCs of YSR CP moved to the ruling TDP.

Mohan Reddy’s quitting was on the cards ever since Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu gave Bhuma Akhila Priya a cabinet berth in April. He is aspiring for the Nandyal Assembly seat, which fell vacant due to the demise of Bhuma Nagi Reddy in March. His efforts to win Naidu's favour through repeated meetings in Vijayawada and discussions seem to have failed, precipitating the decision to leave the party.

A couple of days ago, Mohan Reddy alleged that the TDP leadership — from the CM downwards — were side-lining him in the affairs of the district and party. It’s no secret that he and his brother Chakrapani, an MLC and district president of TDP, have been unhappy ever since Naidu admitted the Bhuma family in despite their reservations. There is much speculation about what Chakrapani will do now.

Published on June 14, 2017

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