Akula Lalitha's ghar wapsi invites Congress leaders' flak

Nizamabad: Re-entry into Congress of former BRS MLC Akula Lalitha has received a stiff block from certain leaders of the grand old party, causing an acute uncertainty for her.

Lalitha has already resigned as chairperson of Telangana State Women’s Finance Corporation chairperson post as well as from the primary membership of ruling BRS party. She did so to rejoin Congress as part of “Ghar Vapasi” call by party leader Rahul Gandhi.

However, senior leaders of Congress in Nizamabad district are opposing her return.

Akula Lalitha began her political career as an MPTC member of Makloor mandal in 2001. She gradually became a ZPTC member, Dichpally MLA and MLC of Congress. She served the party as district Congress committee president and AP Mahila Congress state president.

Lalitha got the MLA ticket from Armoor Assembly constituency in 2018 assembly elections. She lost to A. Jeevan Reddy of BRS. She unexpectedly ended up joining the BRS party after 2018 polls and became an MLC of the BRS.

Congress MLC D. Rajeshwer Rao and Telugu Desam MLC V. Gangadhar Goud got a second term as MLC after joining BRS party from Nizamabad district. Akula Lalitha too expected a second term as a BRS MLC. But that did not happen.

Instead, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao elevated Akula Lalitha as chairperson of the Telangana State Women Finance Corporation. Lalitha expected an MLA ticket from BRS in the ensuing assembly election. But it did not materialise.

Following pressure from her followers, Akula Lalitha readied herself to join Congress. She went on to resign from ruling BRS as well as chairperson of the women’s finance corporation. party and readied to rejoin Congress party. Lalitha reportedly did so after her husband Akula Raghavender got in touch with the TPCC leadership.

Being a woman leader and belonging to the strong Munnuru Kapu community, Lalitha is expecting Congress MLA ticket from Nizamabad Urban assembly constituency. AICC leadership is also stated to be in favour of her candidature, as its surveys have resulted in positive reports about her.

But senior Congress leaders from Nizamabad district have opposed her entry. BJP MP Arvind Dharmapuri has described Akula Lalitha as a “flyer” from ruling BRS to sabotage the Congress.

Senior Congress leaders are arguing that Lalitha intentionally slackened her intensive fight in 2018 elections to let the BRS candidate win.

Significantly, Congress state leadership invited Akula Lalitha to join the Congress party in presence of Rahul Gandhi at Peddapally during the VijayaBheri Yatra. Akula Lalitha and her followers planned to give a rousing welcome to Rahul Gandhi in Nizamabad. But the programme got cancelled.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior Congress leader said on condition of anonymity: “Party’s state leadership is welcoming new entrants to gain strength during the assembly elections. But Nizamabad district leaders are choosy about accepting leaders from other parties and backgrounds. We have opposed entry of three leaders into Congress so far, including a minority leader.”’

Whoever is the candidate, peoples’ verdict is ultimate, he went on to remark.

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