HYDERABAD: Against the backdrop of senior Congress leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy quitting the party, many former MLAs and senior leaders, including C. Damodar Rajanarasimha and P. Vishnuvardhan Reddy, are considering their future with the Congress, sources said.
Party sources said that Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, whose brother Rajgopal Reddy joined the BJP, has also kept his options open.
“Shashidhar Reddy leaving the party is a big jolt, with a few other leaders, who are seen disenchanted, are in touch with rival parties. Once they are sure about the better choice, they may jump over,” the party source said.
Sources indicated that the developments are a fallout of the Congress's failure to hold on to the Munugode Assembly seat.
Vishnuvardhan Reddy, the son of P. Janardhan Reddy, told Deccan Chronicle: “I cannot discuss this subject on the phone and this is not the way.”
Meanwhile, Rajanarasimha and Venkat Reddy were unavailable for comment.
In 2018, Rajanarasimha’s wife Padmini Reddy joined the BJP but returned to the Congress fold within 24 hours of jumping ship. Rajanarasimha was an Andole (SC) MLA and also served as the Deputy Chief Minister of pre-bifurcation Andhra Pradesh from 2011-2014.
He was in the news recently over protests against the deletion of some names from the rolls for the AICC presidential election. Shashidhar Reddy had also taken part in the protest.
Further, Rajanarasimha kept a low profile during the Munugode by-poll, barely campaigning for the party.
Congress leaders, meanwhile, said that Shashidhar Reddy joining the BJP sent a wrong message to party leaders, as his family had remained loyal to the party for several tickets.
“TRS is working poaching at ground level, but BJP is trying to fill the gap of seniors within the party. Right now, it's like window shopping for the BJP. Those who have minorities, particularly Muslims, as important constituents may not dare leave,” an observer who played a key role in the Munugode by-poll said....