Taking advantage of the infighting in Telangana BJP, a resurgent Congress has called on several leaders, who are currently in the BJP, to join the party in order to unite and fight against BRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao even as BJP MLA Etela Rajender denied reports that he was considering parting ways with the saffron party.
Bolstered by the Congress victory in neighbouring Karnataka, TPCC president A Revanth Reddy on Thursday named several former Congressmen, who are currently in BJP, along with dissident BRS leaders to join forces, saying the BJP cannot fight the BRS. He even pointed out that Narendra Modi’s invincibility has been destroyed by the victory of Congress in Karnataka.
“Telangana cannot bear KCR anymore,” said Reddy, while making an appeal to Vivek Venkataswamy, K Vishweshwar Reddy, Etela Rajender Reddy and Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy to join hands with the Congress. All the three, except for Etela Rajender, were earlier in Congress and had joined the BJP to fight the BRS. Etela Rajender was, however, with the BRS before falling out with K Chandrasekhar Rao. After he resigned from the BRS, he contested on a BJP ticket from Huzurabad and won with massive votes despite attempts by KCR to defeat him in his constituency. The BJP immediately made him the head of the joining committee which tried to poach leaders from other parties.
However, as per a political grapevine, Etela Rajender and the new entrants are unhappy with the current BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar. Moreover, they feel the party’s age-old reliance on Hindutva won’t cut much ice with the rural voters in Telangana, who have been peacefully residing with their Muslim neighbours for centuries.
The new entrants are said to be even keen to form a new party and ally with the Congress though Etela Rajender denied that he was considering jumping on the ship. He said in a tweet, “Telangana’s 4 crore people want KCR’s directorial rule to end. Only the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah would be able to do this. The BJP leaders in the state of Telangana are united and constantly strive to proudly form the BJP government in Telangana. It is not my practice to switch parties.”
Apart from BJP leaders, Revanth Reddy called upon dissident BRS leaders, such as Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy and Jupally Krishna Rao, to join the Congress which, he said, was like a mother. He said if they had any issues with him, they could discuss with the party’s Central leadership. The Congress manifesto for Assembly elections will be released on 17 September coinciding with the date of the merger of Hyderabad state in the Indian Union.