HYDERABA/KARIMNAGAR: The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) leadership is making moves to garner support of Backward Classes to minimise the impact of Etala Rajendar's exit from the party. Rajendar was a strong BC leader, who ensured victory for TRS in his native district right from the inception of the party.
The party is learnt to be luring Telangana TDP president L. Ramana, a BC leader, into its fold and reportedly offered him an MLC seat.
Speculations are rife in TRS circles that minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao and TRS Jagtial MLA M Sanjay Kumar held negotiations with Ramana and made this offer as per the directions of TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao.
Like Rajendar, Ramana is also considered a prominent BC leader from North Telangana region and hails from Karimnagar district. Ramana is expected to join TRS very soon.
The TDP which already lost its leader and cadre base to the TRS in Telangana after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh would receive another major blow with Ramana' exit.
Ramana, who belongs to Padmashali community from Jagtial, has considerable hold in Karimnagar district. The TRS leadership apparently feels that Ramana could fill up the vacancy created by Rajendar who is all set to join the BJP, so that he could balance the BC equations in the district. Ramana, got elected to Legislative Assembly twice in 1994 and 2009. He worked as handlooms and textiles minister in Chandrababu Naidu's Cabinet in undivided AP in 1995-96.
After bifurcation of AP in 2014, he was appointed as Telangana TDP president, the post that he continues to hold even today. He contested the recent Graduate MLC election for Hyderabad-Rangareddy-Mahbubnagar constituency but failed to retain deposit. Ramana continued in the TDP despite all his colleagues like Errabelli Dayakar Rao and A Revanth Reddy quit and joined other parties.
By taking Ramana into the party fold and elevating him as MLC, the TRS leadership wants to pacify BCs and wants to send a message to BCs in general and Karimnagar in particular that the TRS gives prominence to BCs and sacking of Rajendar should not be viewed as anti-BC stand of the TRS.
Since there are six MLC seats to be filled under MLA quota and one under Governor quota, the Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao is ready to give one to L. Ramana if he agrees to join the party, it is learnt.
Ramana hails from Jagtial of united Karimnagar district. He started his political career in 1978 as student leader from Congress-I and later joined the TD after its formation the late Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao.