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HomeINDIAIn Telangana, KCR's Leaders Swell Congress, BJP Ranks Ahead of Polls

In Telangana, KCR’s Leaders Swell Congress, BJP Ranks Ahead of Polls




Former Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s Bharat Rashtra Samithi has been witnessing an exodus following its defeat in last year’s assembly election. In the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, more than 10 senior leaders have switched sides.

More than 10 names on the BJP list are former members of the BRS. Among them are former BRS minister Eatala Rajender. A candidate from Malkajgiri, he joined the BJP in June 2021 after he was thrown out of the BRS.

But while he has been in the party for a while, many others made the switch and within hours, were nominated by the BJP.

Zaheerabad sitting MP was from BRS, quit and within hours became the BJP candidate. Bharat, son of BRS MP Ramulu was fielded from Nagarkurnool, within hours of the father and son switching parties. Aroori Ramesh was made the Warangal BJP candidate in the same way.

The Congress has been welcoming BRS leaders in a similar manner. Chevella MP Ranjith Reddy who won as the BRS candidate is now representing the Congress from the same seat.

Danam Nagender who won as BRS MLA from Khairatabad in the November 30 elections, has been fielded from Secunderabad by the Congress. The wife of former BRS minister Patnam Mahender Reddy, Sunita Mahender Reddy, who was the Vikarabad zilla parishad chairperson with the BRS, is now the Congress’s Malkajgiri candidate.

Kadiyam Kavya, whom BRS gave ticket for Warangal, has moved to the Congress and has been fielded from the same seat. Her father Kadiyam Srihari was also elected as BRS MLA in the November 30 assembly election.

Two other key leaders of BRS — Peddapalli MP Venkatesh Netha moved to Congress but have not been given ticket. Warangal MP Pasunuri Dayakar has also switched to the Congress but has not been fielded by the party.

In 2019, nine of the 17 Lok Sabha seats of the state had gone to Mr Rao’s party, four to the BJP, three to the Congress and one to Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM.

Back then, Mr Rao’s party, still called the Telangana Rashtra Samithi or TRS, dominated, given his status as the father of the statehood movement.

The slide of the party started after its change of name – a focus from state issues to national aspirations of the leader did not go down well with the electorate, many in the party had privately admitted.

Added to it were the corruption allegations, including the alleged involvement of Mr Rao’s daughter K Kavitha in the Delhi liquor case.

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