With assembly elections in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh round the corner, political leaders and ticket aspirants in both the Telugu states are in a rush to join parties.
While former cricketer Ambati Rayadu once again met Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohn Reddy fuelling speculation that he might join the YSRCP soon, two ex-BRS leaders, Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy and Jupally Krishna Rao, are all set to join Congress after the party seemed to have turned the tide in Telangana post Karnataka polls.
Both the ex-BRS MPs from Khammam, Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy and ex-BRS MLA Jupally Krishna Rao, were about to join the BJP but with the saffron party showing signs of internal turmoil between its original leaders and those who joined later and the ripple effect of the Congress win in Karnataka both will be joining the Congress in mid June, apparently in the presence of AICC leaders from Delhi.
While Krishna Rao was in Congress till 2012, that too, a minister, he joined the BRS and won in 2014 but lost to Congress candidate B Harshavardhan Reddy. When Reddy joined the BRS, Krishna Rao felt he was being sidelined and along with Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy had openly criticised Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and the state government prompting the BRS to suspend them in April this year.
Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy was elected from Khammam MP seat in 2014 on YSRCP ticket and joined the BRS. However, the party denied him ticket in 2019 after it won only one seat out of ten in Assembly elections in 2018. Although the BRS ticket went to Nama Nageshwar Rao, who had come from TDP and managed to retain the seat for the BRS, KCR had tried to assuage his ire this year in January but he did not relent and is all set to join the Congress.
Meanwhile, former cricketer Ambati Rayadu met Andhra Pradesh chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for the second time in the span of a month. He was accompanied by the Chennai Super Kings’ management including Rupa Gurunath and showed the IPL Cup to him and gifted him a jersey. Rayadu informed Reddy that he was keen to improve sports and amenities in AP and the chief minister assured him that a programme will be drawn up soon. Rayadu is expected to join the ruling party soon.
The BRS, which is keen to spread its footprint in Madhya Pradesh, has inducted Anand Rai, the whistleblower in the Vyapam case in the BRS. Rai joined the party in the presence of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in Pragathi Bhavan.