Four Rajya Sabha MPs of the Telugu Desam Party on Thursday passed a resolution to merge its Legislature Party with the Bharatiya Janata Party, ANI reported. The four MPs are YS Chowdary, CM Ramesh, TG Venkatesh and GM Rao.

The Telugu Desam Party has six legislators in the Rajya Sabha.

YS Chowdary, CM Ramesh and TG Venkatesh had earlier in the day met President Ram Nath Kovind and submitted their resignation as legislators. They also met Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu.

Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu condemned the defections. “We fought with BJP only for special category status and state’s interests,” he said, according to ANI. “We sacrificed central ministers for special status, condemn attempts of BJP to weaken TDP. Crisis is not new to the party. Leaders and cadre have nothing to be nervous about.”

The BJP, at a press conference by its Working President Jagat Prakash Nadda, said the four legislators took the decision after a meeting of the TDP legislative party. Three of the four legislators, excluding Rao, were welcomed into the party at the press conference. BJP National General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav said Rao had been unable to attend due to an injury to his foot during the Rajya Sabha session, but had given his assent to join the party with his signature.

The Telugu Desam Party, which had quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in 2018, performed very poorly in the Lok Sabha and Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections, results for which were announced on May 23. The party won just three Lok Sabha seats and 23 out of the 175 Assembly constituencies in the state, following which Chandrababu Naidu quit as the chief minister.