Former Congress MLA Alleti Maheshwar Reddy meets BJP leaders in Delhi

The Disciplinary Action Committee of the Telangana Congress had served a show cause notice to Maheshwara Reddy for 'moving closer to the BJP'.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Apr 13, 2023 | 6:01 PMUpdatedApr 13, 2023 | 6:01 PM

Alleti Maheshwar Reddy speaking at an event. (Twitter)

Former Telangana MLA Alleti Maheshwar Reddy, who resigned from the Congress earlier on Thursday, 13 April, met several BJP leaders in Delhi later in the day in a prelude to joining the saffron ranks.

Maheshwar Reddy, who was peeved over the party issuing a show-cause notice to him asking why action should not be taken for his anti-party activities on Wednesday, rushed to Delhi and tried to meet Congress president Mallikharjun Kharge to explain how he was being allegedly hounded out of the Congress.

He told reporters: “I wanted to meet our president Mallikharjun Kharge but I could not. That is why I have sent my resignation letter to him.”

He added: “I will be calling on a few BJP leaders as a matter of courtesy. I am not joining the BJP immediately. I will let you know when I take the final decision, which would be after 26 April.”

Also read: KCR calls for a united front to ‘protect the country’ 

‘Not switching immediately’

He said he was leaving the party in a lot of pain. “I do not entertain any plans of switching to any other party immediately,” he said.

The saffron party, which is already fishing for leaders worth their salt in the Congress and the BRS, went for the kill.

BJP legislator and joinings committee chairman Eatala Rajender and party Telangana president Bandi Sanjay took him to Telangana in-charge Tarun Chugh and later party national president JP Nadda in Delhi.

The Disciplinary Action Committee of the Telangana Congress served a show-cause notice to Maheshwara Reddy for “moving closer to the BJP”, but he said the committee had no powers to seek any explanation as he happened to be the chairman of the AICC Programmes Implementation Committee.

The Nirmal leader is originally from the PRP stock but became part of the Congress after actor Chiranjeevi merged his party with it.

Maheswar Reddy has been feeling like a fish out of water in the Congress after being forced to suspend his padayatra from Boath in the erstwhile Adilabad district to Gandhi Bhanava recently.

He suspects that a group of leaders in the party prevailed upon the Congress Telangana in-charge Manikrao Thakre.

Related: Alleti Maheshwar Reddy gets show cause notice from party 

BJP, BRS sees opportunity

The BJP which has been on the prowl for leaders found that Maheswar Reddy was too good a leader to pass up and cast its net wide for him.

Maheswar Reddy, who saw the writing on the wall that his days in the party are numbered, decided to take the leap of faith into BJP and has been in talks with the party leaders at the state level. Maheswar Reddy also held a meeting with his workers who also advised him to prefer BJP to the BRS.

According to sources, the BRS is also watching the unfolding scenario carefully and might try to land him. Maheshwar Reddy himself had said that he had an invitation from both the BRS and the BJP and that he was yet to take a call, implying that he would join the party that offered him a better political deal.

Meanwhile, both the BJP and the Congress are trying to land the two big fish which have been suspended from the BRS — former MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy of Khammam and Jupalli Krishna Rao of Mahabubnagar district.

The two parties are reported to have established channels of communication with them.

Also read: PM Narendra Modi sets up BJP versus BRS in Telangana

BJP ahead of Congress

The BJP leaders seem to be ahead of the Congress in attempting to persuade the two suspended BRS leaders.

BJP leader and former MP A Jitender Reddy and BJP vice president DK Aruna are understood to have spoken to Jupally Krishna Rao to cross the Rubicon.

Interestingly, Aruna was the first to wave the olive branch at him as when both of them were in the Congress in the past, they never saw eye to eye as they were afraid the other was trying to encroach into their respective turfs.

According to sources, BJP legislator Eatala Rajender too spoke to Srinivas Reddy and together with Bandi Sanjay, he had brought to the notice of the party national leadership to land the two fish as early as possible since the Congress was waiting for the opportune time to move.

The two leaders who have become outcasts in their respective parties are now weighing the pros and cons of which party is a better bet for them — the Congress and the BJP.

They are understood to be trying to sense which way the wind is blowing now. The first indication might come from the Karnataka elections. Then they would know for sure which way the cookie had crumbled.