Warangal: Resignations of key leaders of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) one after the other, especially of Errabelli Pradeep Rao, the brother of Panchayat Raj minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao, created a political stir in Warangal district.
Deccan Chronicle caught up with Pradeep Rao to know the reasons for quitting the party when his brother was a minister.
When do you start your political career?
I started my political career from Praja Rajyam Party and contested for the Warangal East Assembly seat in 2009 and lost the election. Later, I formed Telangana Nirmana Samithi (TNS) and participated in the separate Telangana movement. At the behest of Prof. Jayashankar sir, I joined TRS.
What made you decide to quit the party which is in power?
The party leadership promised me that they will allot the Assembly ticket in 2014 but chose Konda Sureka who had defected from the Congress party. In 2018, when I was to contest as an independent after the ticket was allotted to Nannanpuneni Narendar, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and K.T. Rama Rao called me and promised an MLC post. However, they deviated from their promise. Even though I worked hard for the party candidates in the Greater Warangal municipal elections, the party did not recognise my services. Moreover, Narendar’s atrocities on my followers began increasing. Although I took the issue to the notice of the party, no one responded. Not able to bear this humiliation any longer, I decided to quit the party.
Do you have any differences with Narendar?
From the past 12 years, the people of the constituency are fully aware of my services. Unable to digest my popularity and mass following, Narendar tried to suppress my followers and foisted false cases against some of my supporters.
Has the party leadership tried to pacify you?
Yes, they tried to negotiate with me to withdraw my decision. But I am vexed by their false promises.
Did you discuss the issue with your brother? What did he say when you informed that you wanted to quit the party?
Of course, I took the issues to the notice of my brother. The party does not belong to him and he cannot take individual decisions on such matters. He must oblige the party directions. Quitting the party is my decision and my brother has nothing to do with it.
Are any other key leaders from TRS coming out with you?
There are many leaders who are disgruntled with the party leadership. This is particularly so with those who have been with TRS from the beginning but have not been recognized. They are looking at other parties where they can enjoy an appropriate identity. Many of them are likely to quit the party soon.
What is your next move?
I am challenging Narendar to resign his MLA seat and face me in a by-election. I will contest as an independent candidate.
Are you likely to join the BJP? Did anyone from the party approach you?
I have not made any decision yet. Yes, some of the top leaders of the party are in touch with me.