HYDERABAD: Post Munugode debacle, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has found new energy with the shifting of senior Congress leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy into the saffron fold.
“Shashidhar Reddy brings the hallowed name of Marri Channa Reddy, originator of the struggle for Telangana, still held with great reverence in the region, to our party,” said Yennam Srinivas Reddy, state BJP spokesperson, who was present at the function to formally announce the joining, held in Delhi on Friday.
“The first leader who started the Telangana struggle, his family, a staunch uncompromising Congress family, has decided to shift. It reiterates the popular narrative that the Congress has failed to fight against the TRS and champion the cause of the common people of Telangana, and only the BJP can do it,” he said.
Speaking of the impact of the shift, especially among leaders and activists from the Reddy community, D.K. Aruna, BJP vice-president, said “The BJP is primarily perceived as an OBC and Hindutva party. In Telangana, the Reddy community is now strongly thinking of it as the only viable alternative to TRS. Shashidhar Reddy is an excellent leader and a wonderful human being, highly educated and a good researcher; very knowledgeable about the problems of the people. This shift will trigger a mass exodus of leaders from the Congress to the BJP.”
Most BJP leaders feel that Shashidhar Reddy, though not a street-fighter, brings great balance and power to debates and discussions on Telangana issues and can help the saffron party pull lots of leaders, especially from the Congress and the community.
“With the joining of Shashidhar Reddy, it is clear that the second round of exodus from the Congress to the BJP has begun,” said Srinivas Reddy.
Meanwhile, the Congress took to airing a strong response against the shift.
Tweeting vituperatively, party’s state in-charge and MP, B. Manickam Tagore said, “Sangi Shashidhar, As you have joined Sangi’s now you will have to face the real question... It is not in Congress culture to get packages… what you gave for being the Vice chairman NDRF? What you gave when you were made as minister? Nothing…”(sic).
Tagore also threatened legal action against Shashidhar Reddy for his comments that the TPCC post was “purchased” by A. Revanth Reddy, among others....