Kapu strongman Kanna Lakshminarayana joins TDP, days after quitting BJP

He joined the TDP in the presence of party chief N Chandrababu Naidu, amid cheers from his supporters and cadre.

BySouth First Desk

Published Feb 24, 2023 | 12:44 PMUpdatedFeb 24, 2023 | 12:44 PM

Kanna Lakshminarayana from Guntur, with a substantial Kapu population, joins TDP

Veteran politician and Kapu strongman Kanna Lakshminarayana — who was the BJP Andhra Pradesh president from 2018 to 2020 — joined the Telugu Desam party on Thursday, 23 February.

He joined the TDP in the presence of party chief and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, amid cheers from his supporters and cadre.

Commenting on YSRCP’s reign in the southern state, he alleged that a draconian rule is going on and called on all the democratic forces to team up, according to a message posted by TDP on its Twitter handle.

‘Lakshminarayana is a man of virtues’

Heaping praises on the new inductee, Naidu said Lakshminaranaya is a man of many virtues and termed his induction into the party as auspicious.

The 68-year-old had served as a minister during the Congress regime and later headed the BJP in Andhra Pradesh to be replaced by Somu Veerraju eventually.

Lakshminarayana resigned from the primary membership of the BJP, criticising the Andhra Pradesh state leadership, particularly state president Somu Veerraju, on 16 February.

The five-time MLA held a closed-door meeting with his key followers and sent a resignation letter to BJP national president JP Nadda.

After sending the resignation, Lakshminarayana told reporters that he was vexed with the attitude of Somu Veerraju, and had decided to quit BJP.

Originally a Congress leader, Lakshminarayana has been a minister under five chief ministers in the combined state of Andhra Pradesh before 2014.

Related: Kanna Lakshminarayana quits BJP

Unhappy with BJP

Months after the 2014 polls and the total rout of the Congress in Andhra Pradesh, Kanna Lakshminarayana, who holds sway among the numerically strong Kapu community, joined the BJP in October 2014.

Interestingly, unhappy about not being given importance in the saffron party, he made attempts to quit the BJP and join the then Opposition YSRCP before the 2019 polls.

However, BJP’s then-general secretary Ram Madhav, who was overseeing party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, had persuaded Lakshminarayana to stay on.

Two years after Lakshminarayana was made the state president of the BJP, he was replaced by Somu Veerraju, who was a national executive member of the party.

After reports surfaced that he was unhappy with the state leadership, a few members from central leadership held parleys with him and tried to placate him.

However, he finally decided to quit.

(With PTI inputs)