Exodus from BRS resumes; Banswada MLA and former Speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy joins Congress

Revanth Reddy drove to Srinvas Reddy's residence and welcomed back Srinivas Reddy and inducted his son Bhaskar Reddy to the grand old party.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jun 21, 2024 | 2:35 PM Updated Jun 21, 2024 | 2:35 PM

Revanth Reddy with Pocharam Srinivas Reddy. (Supplied)

After all the dust regarding the Lok Sabha elections settled, the exodus of the BRS MLAs to the Congress seems to have resumed.

Lending credence to the speculation that the Congress would be aggressive in landing BRS fish going forward, Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy admitted former Speaker of Telangana Assembly and Banswada BRS MLA Pocharam Srinivas Reddy into the Congress on Friday, 21 June.

Revanth Reddy drove to Srinvas Reddy’s residence in Hyderabad and welcomed back Srinivas Reddy and inducted his son Bhaskar Reddy to the grand old party by draping them with Congress shawls as a mark of admitting them to the party.

Also Read: Telangana Congress MLA Medipalli Satyam’s wife Rupa Devi dies by suicide

Congress assures to consider suggestions

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that his government would give importance to Srinivas Reddy’s suggestions for making the agriculture sector more rewarding for farmers.

He recalled the former Speaker rendering a great service for the welfare of the farmers. Srinivas Reddy, in reply, said he began his career in politics with Congress and finally returned to the same party under Revanth Reddy’s leadership.

Srinivas Reddy said he joined the BRS from the TDP because of the changed circumstances adding that he was happy to be back in Congress, his alma mater.

Learning about Revanth Reddy’s visit to Srinivas Reddy’s residence, BRS workers gathered in strength and made an attempt to go inside.

However, Congress workers who were present there prevented their entry.

The police, who sensed that the situation was getting out of control, rounded up BRS leaders including Balka Suman and Gellu Srinivas and shifted them away to Banjara Hills Police Station.

Migration of BRS MLAs to Congress

The Congress has already spirited away three legislators of the BRS and one of them — Danam Nagender — was the grand old party’s candidate from the Secunderabad constituency in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.

He, however, lost the election to Union Minister and BJP leader G Kishan Reddy in the recent general elections.

The other two BRS legislators who migrated to the Congress camp were Station Ghanpur MLA Kadiam Srihari and Badrachalam legislator Tellam Venkat Rao.

With the induction of Srinivas Reddy, the number of BRS MLAs who switched loyalty to Congress rose to four.

There are reports that the Congress leadership is in talks with more BRS MLAs to shore up its strength in the Assembly.

The Congress has won 64 Assembly seats which went up to 65 after it won the Secunderabad Cantonment by-election following the death of BRS MLA Lasya Nandita.

She died in a car crash on the outer ring road near Patancheru on Hyderabad’s outskirts in February this year.

Also Read: Telangana urges Centre to allocate coal blocks to Singareni Collieries without auction

Speculations of exodus from Medak

Recently, there were reports doing rounds that a few BRS MLAs in the Medak district were showing interest in joining the grand old party.

The Congress leaders claim that several BRS MLAs were in the mood to quit the party in return for cushy posts in the government or even berths in the Cabinet.

When MLAs from the Medak district — Gudem Mahiapal Reddy (Patancheru), V Sunitha Laxma Reddy (Narsapur), Kotha Prabhakar Reddy (Dubbak) and K Manik Rao (Zaheerabad) called on Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy in January, it was said that they were testing waters in the Congress camp.

Though all of them denied reports that they were preparing to switch loyalty, doubts in the minds of the top leaders of the BRS lingered after watching how several legislators both MLAs and MPs in the 17th Lok Sabha slipped through their fingers ahead of general elections.

Of them, Gudem Mahipal Reddy had the strongest reason to switch sides as the mines and geology department had slapped a notice on his brother Madhusudan Reddy for payment of ₹300 crore penalty for illegal mining in Lakdaram village in the district. He was charged for excess mining over what had been permitted.

Even though Mahipal Reddy was understood to have opened communication with the Congress leaders to switch horses midstream, the recent raids by ED sleuths changed the scenario.

The raids gave enough grist to the rumour mill that the BJP was also eyeing him as it wants to fortify its ranks to capture power in Telangana by the next Assembly elections.

Union Minister of State Bandi Sanjay has already been hectoring that in the next election, BJP’s tally would be 88 from eight in the present Assembly.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)

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