Senior BJP Leaders Set to Join Congress

30-strong group of former MPs consider future

HYDERABAD: The BJP in Telangana is in complete disarray barely a couple of months ahead of the Assembly polls, with a group of senior leaders declaring that they would take every opportunity — including joining the Congress —to defeat Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao.

“We are frustrated at the lack of leadership, at the complete absence of purpose, which is to defeat KCR. We have been talking amongst ourselves for some time now and there are about 30 of us who are willing to do whatever it takes to defeat KCR,” former MP Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy said on Monday.

Asked how far the group would go, Rajgopal Reddy said, “Everything is on the table. This includes even joining the Congress.”

He said that among the leaders who have been discussing “the sorry state of affairs in Telangana BJP” and ways to make the party realise that they had all joined the BJP with the sole purpose of defeating K. Chandrashekar Rao. “It is becoming clear that the BJP is no longer in a position to do this (defeat the CM),” he said.

Rajgopal Reddy said the group included former MPs Vijayashanti, G. Vivek Venkataswamy and Konda Vishweshwar Reddy. “There are another 25 BJP leaders with whom we have been discussing these issues,” he said.

It was learnt that another former MP, Chada Suresh Reddy, was involved in the discussions.

The only way to save the party now is for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to intervene and take corrective steps. “One leader in the party blackmailed the high command to do his bidding and ensured changes, with a post for himself. Ever since the BJP here has gone down,” Rajgopal Reddy said.

“This, coupled with no action on BRS MLC K. Kavitha in the Delhi liquor scam, has hurt the party. People are asking us what we are doing in the BJP when it is clearly incapable of doing anything to defeat KCR. If the situation is to be saved, only Modi and Shah can do so and they should do what they have to do,” he said.

Much of the ire of the group appeared to be directed at Etala Rajendar, who, a few months ago, was appointed the party’s state election management committee chairman, a decision that came alongside the removal of Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar from the state BJP president post and installation of Union minister G. Kishan Reddy in his place. Ever since there has been strong resentment brewing among senior leaders who joined the BJP from other parties.

It was learnt that some of these former MPs had been trying to reach out to Shah but had been hitting a wall, resulting in a feeling that they were not cared for, and even worse, their presence or absence in the party no longer made a difference to the BJP in Telangana.

A leader privy to the discussions of this group of former MPs said, “Any talk of joining the Congress would be jumping the gun. But yes, there is a lot of concern. The BJP had a 65 per cent anti-incumbency vote with it until a few months ago, and now, it is split with the Congress, which has the upper hand. Our efforts are to find ways on how the BJP can regain the edge.”

While Kishan Reddy was not available for comment, nor was Rajendar, as several other party leaders expressed concern at the near-open rebellion.

Agreeing that there was a lot of discontent within the ranks, a party leader said: “It would be helpful for the party if those unhappy can spell out exactly what they are looking for.”

Javadekar, when asked about the disgruntlement and whether he was in touch with the group, said: “s part of the party work, we are in touch regularly with all our karyakartas. We do this every day.” While Javadekar said issues within the party were attended to within the party structure, another party leader said, “There is a lot of discontent within the ranks. It would be helpful for the party if those unhappy can spell out exactly what they are looking for.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story