1 more Telangana MLA Congress moves to BJP, party strength plummets to 5
In another shake-up to the already beleaguered Congress in Telangana, Nalgonda Komatireddy district party lawmaker Rajagopal Reddy announced on Friday that he would resign from Congress and join the Bharatiya Janata Party soon.
Rajagopal Reddy, who represents the Munugode assembly constituency, told reporters in Tirumala, after a Lord Venkateshwara darshan, that the BJP was the only alternative to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, as the Congress party had not given a strong fight.
He said he had long ago predicted the BJP’s growth as a strong force in Telangana. “I stand by my statement and the recent results of the by-elections for the Dubbak assembly seat and the elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) proved this,” he said.
Rajagopal Reddy claimed that the BJP would become even stronger in Telangana in the coming days, and said that he could join the BJP shortly taking into account the interest of the people in his constituency.
If Rajagopal Reddy joins the BJP sooner or later, Congress will be left with just five MLAs in the 119 member state assembly. The party had won 19 seats in the December 2018 assembly elections, but 12 of them defected en masse to TRS.
Of the remaining seven seats, Congress lost one more in the by-elections for the Huzurnagar assembly seat in October 2019. The seat was vacated by the head of the PCC, N Uttam Kumar Reddy, in his election to the Lok Sabha from the electoral district of Nalgonda in May 2019. With this, the party lost the status of Leader of the Opposition in the assembly.
Interestingly, Rajagopal Reddy’s older brother, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, is also a deputy from the Bhongir parliamentary constituency and is leading the post of head of the PCC, following the resignation of Uttam Kumar Reddy.
“My older brother could stay in Congress and become the head of the PCC. But I’m going to join the BJP, ”said Rajagopal Reddy.
In fact, shortly after the last Lok Sabha elections, Rajagopal Reddy praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The people of India have given a mandate in favor of Modi for the second time, showing their confidence in his decision-making. The BJP has the strength to make some revolutionary decisions as it has strong leadership. I doubt very much how much Congress can fight against Modi, ”he said then.
The Telangana Congressional Party has strongly condemned Rajagopal Reddy’s statement that he would join the BJP shortly. “It is not correct for you to desert the party when it is in crisis. As the MLA responsible for the party, it is your duty to support the party and strengthen it, ”said PCC Vice President Mallu Ravi.
Stating that Congress was the only party that had been fighting on ordinary people’s issues, Ravi said that Rajagopal Reddy, who had won the assembly elections on the Congressional ballot, had a moral responsibility to work for the defeat of TRS and BJP.
He expressed his confidence that Congress will regain power both in the Center and in the state.