Monday, June 17, 2024

United Congress unstoppable, says Rahul as several Telangana opposition leaders join party

New Delhi/Hyderabad, June 26 (IANS) Soon after several opposition leaders in Telangana joined the Congress ahead of the Assembly elections, including former minister Jupally Krishna Rao and former MP Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that a united Congress is unstoppable and an era of people-centric politics will sweep through Telangana soon.

After the Telangana leaders joined the Congress, Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and wrote, “A united Congress is unstoppable. An era of people-centric politics will sweep through Telangana soon, like it did in Karnataka.”

The Telangana leaders announced their decision after meeting Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi in the national capital.

Besides Rao and Reddy, Gurnath Reddy, (six times MLA), Koram Kanakaiah, Ex MLA & serving Zila Parishad chairman, Payam Venkateshwarlu, Ex MLA, Muvament Vijaya Baby, DCCB ex chairman, Pidamarthi Ravi, ex-cChairman, SC Corporation, Thulluri Bramhaiah, present DCCB chairman, Borra Rajshekhar, present Markfed state vice chairperson and S. Jaipal, present municipal chairperson, Warya and Mandal Praja Parishad chairmen and many senior BRS leaders joined the Congress here.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, “There are winds of change flowing across the country. These winds of change did not start from Karnataka, they started through the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, where Rahul Gandhi walked for 4,000 kilometers, meeting people, interacting with them, listening to their problems, listening to their issues.”

“The result was seen in Karnataka and those winds are now flowing towards the other assemblies, which are going into elections including a very important state of Telangana,” Khera said.

Addressing the media, Telangana state unit chief Revanth Reddy said, “Today many leaders promised to join the Congress and we will work together to defeat the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (now Bharath Rashtra Samithi) in Telangana and we have to show how the BJP and TRS together cheated 4 crore people of the state.”

Taking a pot shot at the state government in Telangana, Revanth Reddy said, “From the day KT Rama Rao, Telangana’s IT Minister came to Delhi, he is showing that we have given representations for the progress of the state, metro rail, national irrigation project and some other projects, that is why we have met the BJP.

“This is a complete lie, because the meeting of opposition parties was going on in Bihar’s Patna of 15 parties, to create this perception that the opposition is not with them, some people are with the BJP, TRS is constantly trying to create such a perception. First (Chief Minister) K Chandrasekhar Rao tried, now KT Rama Rao is trying,” he alleged.

He said that now people are understanding, that is why all of us, all these senior leaders have promised us to join Congress party, I am welcoming these people and secondly there will be a big rally in Khammam on July 2, which will also be addressed by Rahul Gandhi.

He added that the party will organise big programmes in Mehboobnagar on July 14 and 16 and from there we will take on the BRS and the BJP.

He said that the BRS and the BJP are the same party as they have a bond of fevicol. “The way in which fevicol helps in attaching two things, such bonding is there in the BRS and the BJP for last nine years in the state,” he said.

“As both (BRS and BJP) of them will contest the assembly elections together, thus Congress has preapred itself to defeat them,” he added.

More than 30 Congress leaders from Khammam, Mahabubnagar, and Nizamabad districts also attended the meeting.

After the meeting, Srinivasa Reddy told a news conference that after detailed discussions with followers and well-wishers and examining all aspects during the last six months, they decided to join the Congress.

He said they took the decision after reaching the conclusion that only the Congress can stop the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) from coming to power again in Telangana.

Srinivasa Reddy said they got several surveys conducted which reveal that 80 per cent of the people are against the BRS government. He said they received offers from several parties including the BJP and the Congress and also smaller parties. They also discussed the proposal of floating a new regional party to counter the BRS but realised that such a move would split anti-KCR (as Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is popularly known) votes.

The former MP said the people of Telangana would remain indebted to the Congress for creating Telangana state. He alleged that KCR could win the elections in 2014 and again in 2018 by making false and impractical promises and by misleading people.

Krishna Rao said they came out of the BRS due to its “corruption, family rule and fascist approach”.

Both the leaders were suspended from the BRS in April for anti-party activities.

Krishna Rao had resigned from the Congress to join the BRS in 2011. He was elected from Kollapur constituency in Mahabubnagar district in 2014 on a BRS ticket. He felt sidelined in the BRS after MLA Harshvardhan Reddy, who had defeated him in 2018 elections, switched loyalties from the Congress to the BRS after the Assembly polls.

Srinivas Reddy, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Khammam on a YSR Congress Party ticket in 2014, later switched loyalties to the BRS. He was unhappy after KCR denied him a party ticket for both the 2018 Assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Their joining is expected to be a shot in the arm for the Congress in united Khammam and Mahabubnagar districts. Both the leaders are considered influential in their districts and can influence the poll outcome in a few constituencies.

Srinivasa Reddy’s move is being seen as a big blow to BRS in Khammam district, which is located on Telangana’s border with Andhra Pradesh. The district has never been a stronghold of KCR’s party.

The Congress is said to have accepted Srinivasa Reddy’s demand to allocate tickets in eight out of 10 Assembly seats in Khammam district to his supporters.

Of these 10 seats, the Congress had won seven seats and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) two in the 2018 polls. The BRS could win just one seat. However, five of the Congress MLAS later defected to the BRS.

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