YSR Congress MP Butta Renuka finally crossed over to Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Telugu Desam Party today, more than three years she made her first attempt to join the party. TDP supremo and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu formally welcomed the Kurnool MP and her followers into the party at his camp residence here this morning. Renuka is the second YSRC MP to switch sides to the TDP after S P Y Reddy of Nandyal, also in Kurnool district. The YSRC had petitioned the Lok Sabha speaker against Reddy and sought his disqualification under the Anti-Defection Law but the plea has been pending for over three years. The YSRC alleged that the ruling party lured the Kurnool MP with offers of money. The party had eight MPs in the Lok Sabha from Andhra Pradesh after the 2014 elections but the number has now fallen to six. Renuka, a businesswoman and relatively new to politics, tried to join the TDP soon after her election in May 2014, following in the footsteps of her colleague Reddy. But the YSRC leadership prevailed upon the Lok Sabha member and convinced her not to leave the Jaganmohan Reddy-led outfit.
She, however, continued to maintain a close relationship with TDP leaders over the years. “I am happy to associate with the TDP for development of the state. The chief minister has been striving to develop the state after all the turmoil caused by the bifurcation,” Renuka told reporters in the presence of Naidu. The chief minister appreciated her for joining hands with him in the development process. TDP sources said Renuka would organise a public meeting in Kurnool soon.