BRS caught unawares as Warangal candidate Kavya dumps party for Congress

In her letter to KCR, Kavya said she made her decision after watching the party become unpopular on account of corruption cases.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Mar 29, 2024 | 12:11 PMUpdatedMar 29, 2024 | 2:45 PM

File picture of Kadiyam Kavya (KadiyamKavya/X)

It is blow after blow for the beleaguered BRS. Its nominee for the Warangal Lok Sabha (SC) seat, Kadiam Kavya, daughter of party MLA Kadiam Srihari, is all set to switch loyalty to Congress.

In a late-night missive to party supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday, 28 March, Kavya said she was withdrawing from the contest from Warangal.

The development must have been unnerving for KCR, who reportedly had a verbal showdown with Secretary-General K Keshava Rao a few hours earlier. The latter met him at his farmhouse to tell him he was returning to Congress along with Mayor-daughter Gadwal Vijaya Laxmi.

The night brought more bad news for KCR. Former BRS minister, A Indrakarn Reddy, called on Keshava Rao after the latter returned from KCR’s farmhouse. Reddy, too, is waiting to join Congress sooner rather than later.

Also read: BRS and bonds

Kavya’s plainspeak

In her letter to KCR, Kavya said her mind was made up after watching the party become unpopular following reports of its involvement in corruption, land encroachments, phone tapping, and Delhi liquor policy scam cases.

Kavya said that the district leaders did not coordinate at the constituency level. Everyone was acting on their own, pulling the party in different directions, which would damage the party’s image and prospects.

However, she thanked KCR for nominating her for the Warangal SC seat and requested that he and other party leaders forgive her for not contesting.

Kavya sent the letter to KCR after confirming that the party was ready to nominate her for the Warangal seat. Later, she and her father reached Delhi to meet the top brass of Congress.

With BRS leaders leaving one after the other to join the Congress, Srihari appears to have decided that the grand old party is a better bet than the pink party.

Also read: Kesava Rao also leaving

Win-win for both

The Congress, too, was looking for the right candidate for Warangal as it does not have a winnable non-Mala candidate. Kavya, with her social service background, appeared to fit the bill.

The party then opened a channel of dialogue with Srihari and appears to have succeeded in getting Kavya on board.

Of the three seats reserved for SCs in Telangana, the party has nominated Gaddam Vamsi Krishna for Peddapaly and Mallu Ravi for Nagarkurnool. As both belong to the Mala sub-caste, the party has been looking for a Madiga or a non-mala candidate for Warangal.

The party was in two minds about fielding BRS sitting MP Pasunuru Dayakar, who joined the Congress after KCR nominated Kavya for the seat. He, too, belongs to the Mala sub-caste. In this contest, Kavya appeared to fit the bill as she belongs to the Byndla caste, a non-mala sub-caste of the SCs.

The BRS has been suffering hard knocks in erstwhile Warangal District. After Dayakar left, Wardhannapet’s former MLA Aroori Ramesh followed suit but to the BJP amid high drama.

He was allegedly kidnapped by BRS leaders recently while he was getting ready to announce his resignation from the party and produced before KCR.

Also read: KCR’s efforts in vain

Aroori ‘kidnap’ drama

Before reaching Hyderabad from Hanamkonda, the BJP leaders tried to “capture” him by stopping the car. BRS and BJP leaders had a literal tug-of-war in the middle of the road over Aroori.

His shirt was torn in the melee, and he felt humiliated. He met KCR and promised he would not leave BRS. However, after the meeting, Aroori promptly joined the BJP. The saffron party gave him the Warangal Lok Sabha seat.

In February, former deputy chief minister and Kadiam Srihari’s archrival, Dr T Rajaiah, left the BRS. He was peeved with KCR, who preferred Srihari over him for the Station Ghanpur assembly seat.

KCR made up with Rajaiah by appointing him chairman of Telangana Rythu Bandhu Samiti. However, it rankled Rajaiah that he was denied that seat and finally quit.