Congress lures top BRS, BJP leaders
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Md Nizamuddin
Hyderabad: TPCC chief A. Revanth Reddy was quick to make overtures to BJP MLA Etala Rajendar to join the Congress, after the latter had slammed the BJP leaders for being ‘moles’ of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao.
Referencing Rajendar’s comments about ‘coverts in all parties’, Revanth Reddy said that the former minister was frustrated with the BJP as it was in cahoots with the BRS. He urged Rajendar to choose an "alternative path."
"Rajendar, with the aim to unseat KCR, joined the BJP. But now, he is realising that there are coverts even there. It is time that Rajendar adopts a different path to achieve this goal. None of the leaders who joined the BJP with the clear objective of unseating KCR are satisfied. The fact that both BJP and KCR are working in unison is reflected in the way Rajendar is speaking," he said during an interaction at Gandhi Bhavan.
Revanth Reddy said Rajendar had fallen prey to the Chief Minister’s designs. "The way he spent money during the Huzurabad bypoll is an instance where KCR’s plans worked, as Etala was never supportive of spending money during elections," he said.
The TPCC chief said that a major reason for Rajendar’s outburst was the widening gap with the state BJP chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar, who had completely sidelined the Huzurabad MLA during his Praja Sangrama Yatra, even in his constituency.
Revanth Reddy said that former MPs G. Vivek Venkataswamy and K. Vishweshwar Reddy never came to terms with the BJP’s ideology, given their Congress roots. He said their antagonism towards Chandrashekar Rao made them join the BJP, signalling an open invitation for the duo to return to the Congress.
Political analysts said that by taking advantage of the situation within the BRS and BJP, the Congress leadership was geared up to lure top leaders the two parties. As part of its political strategy for the election year, it is not only trying to get back its senior leaders but is also trying to poach those who are feeling let down.
Disenchanted BRS leader Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy, a former Khammam MP, who was thought to be joining the BJP is one of the major targets of the Congress. The fact was also acknowledged by Revanth Reddy. "He is in touch with Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka as the high command has given him the responsibility," he said.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior Khammam leader said that the party leadership was in touch with Srinivas Reddy. "This is part of the political strategy and purely internal matter. More details cannot be revealed at this moment and it may take time to materialise," the leader said.