In another blow to the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh, party MP Avanti Srinivas on Thursday decided to switch loyalties to the main opposition YSR Congress Party.
Srinivas was reported to be keen to contest the Assembly elections from Bheemili or Visakhapatnam North constituency. YSR Congress is understood to have agreed to give him a ticket from Bheemili, paving the way for his defection.
The move comes close on the heels of another TDP leader and MLA from Chirala constituency, A. Krishna Mohan, resigning from the ruling party and joining the YSR Congress.
Meanwhile, the YSR Congress alleged that, angry over disillusioned leaders leaving the TDP, “hoodlums” of the ruling party attacked the YSR Congress office at Kotabommali in Srikakulam district. The opposition party said five of its workers were injured in the attack.
In another development, Chief Minister and TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday asked his party leaders and cadre not to attach much importance to a few leaders leaving the party for their “vested interests” in view of the elections. According to party sources, Naidu said if such leaders leave the party, it would be good for the organisation.
Simultaneous elections to Andhra Pradesh Assembly and the Lok Sabha are due in May.