Hyderabad: Wife of senior Telangana Congress leader C Damodar Rajanarasimha, Padmini Reddy who had joined BJP on Thursday around noon returned to the Congress within 10 hours after the announcement becoming one of leaders having the shortest stint in a political party in India.
It all began early on Thursday when word spread that Padmini Reddy, social activist and Congress leader, met with Telangana BJP president K Laxman following which she joined BJP. The same was announced at a press meet held by the BJP.
C Damodar Rajanarasimha, husband of Padmini Reddy, was the deputy chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh in the Congress government headed by N Kiran Kumar Reddy. He is presently the in-charge of the party's manifesto committee for the Telangana elections. Given Rajanarasimha's seniority, Reddy's shift to the BJP was an embarrassment for the Congress.
Padmini Reddy joining BJP was welcomed by the party.
Stating that Padmini Reddy’s decision would be a boost in the arm for the BJP, K Laxman praised her for the work she did among women.
K Laxman claimed that Padmini Reddy had joined the BJP as she was impressed by the way Prime Minister Narendra Modi had worked towards empowering women, especially by appointing women in key positions.
"Padmini Reddy has made a name for herself with her social work in Medak region, especially among women...Her joining the BJP will strengthen the party," he further said.
Soon after Padmini Reddy joined the BJP, party national general secretary V Muralidhar Rao tweeted pictures of her induction and wrote, "Impressed by the work of PM Narendra Modi ji, senior Congress leader Smt Padmini Reddy joined BJP today in Hyderabad (Telangana)".
However, the BJP's joy proved to be short-lived. By late evening, Padmini Reddy went back to the Congress.
She said that she decided to return as "party workers were feeling hurt" with her departure.
“I am taking my decision back. I have understood the feelings of the Congress party workers. I am now back to the Congress party,” Padmini Reddy told reporters.
Embarrassed by Padmini Reddy’s decision to leave BJP and move back to Congress, BJP Chief Spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao said on Twitter, “Padmini Reddy is an educated and well-informed woman. BJP is a party which respects and believes in women empowerment. When she approached the BJP to join and work for the party, certainly we couldn't have asked her, to get her husband's permission for the same. We respect Padmini Reddy's decision either way. This only exemplifies BJP’s respect for women empowerment.”
Voting will take place in all the 119 constituencies of Telangana on December 7.
(With inputs from agencies)...