Former Telangana minister, ex-MP among 35 BRS leaders set to join Congress
In a major setback to K Chandrashekar Rao-led Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), as many as 35 party leaders, including former legislators, ministers and office-bearers, are set to join the Congress in Telangana. The development comes ahead of the assembly election in the state, scheduled for later this year.
These leaders expressed their intent to join the grand old party after meeting Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday. Among them were former MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy, former minister Jupally Krishna Rao, ex-MLAs Panyam Venkateswarlu, Koram Kanakaiah and Kota Ram Babu, and Rakesh Reddy, son of BRS MLC Narsa Reddy. They also met Congress general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal and Telangana Congress chief A Revanth Reddy.
The BRS leaders will formally join the Congress at a public rally in Khammam, Telangana expected to be held in the first week of July in the presence of AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi. Reddy was a BRS MP from Khammam. These leaders have made the move after the BRS gave the mega Opposition meeting in Patna a miss. Leaders of almost all major Opposition parties in the country were present at the meeting, which was called by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
However, Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao justified his party’s move to skip the Opposition meeting, contending that the parties “are obsessed with dislodging someone from power”. “The fight (against the BJP) should be on principal issues before the country. Unfortunately, we are losing the plot there. We seem to be obsessed and worried about dislodging someone or putting somebody there and that should not be the agenda,” he told PTI in an interview.
KTR also indicated that the BRS was willing to contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections on its own and try to make an impactful beginning, aiming to win a sizeable number of seats.
(With agency inputs)