In a major blow to Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao, over a dozen former legislators, ministers, and office bearers of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) joined the Congress on Monday. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi were present as the leaders joined the party, which has been trying to revive its fortune in the southern state. Telangana will go to polls later this year.
Former MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy, former minister Jupally Krishna Rao, ex-MLAs Panyam Venkateswarlu, Koram Kanakaiah, and Kota Ram Babu were among the leaders who joined the grand old party. Rakesh Reddy, son of BRS MLC Narsa Reddy, also joined Congress.
Speaking on the induction of new leaders, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said the Telangana Congress is getting bigger traction. “So many leaders from various parties want to join Congress. This clearly indicates that Congress will form the government in Telangana. Wait and see, others will also join Congress.”
The development comes just days after the BRS skipped the mega opposition meeting called by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar in Patna. KT Rama Rao, the son of KCR, defended his party’s move to skip the opposition meeting, saying the parties were “obsessed” with “dislodging someone” from power. He said 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 said while speaking to PTI.
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. In the last general elections, BRS (then TRS) bagged 9 of 17 seats with 41.29 per cent vote share. The BJP won 4 while Congress settled with 3. While BRS won the maximum seats, its tally had dropped to 9 from 12 in the previous polls.