In a significant development, former Khammam MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy, who has been unhappy with the BRS leadership of late, called on YSRTP president YS Sharmila Reddy on Tuesday, 24 January.
The meeting between the two leaders took place shortly after Sharmila reportedly commented that Srinivas Reddy grew under the protective wings of her father — late YS Rajasekhara Reddy — but did not confirm if he would join the YSRTP then.
After the division of the state in 2014, Srinivas Reddy was elected to Lok Sabha from Khammam on the YSRCP ticket. Later, after the YSRCP lost relevance in Telangana, he joined the ranks of the BRS.
But he was neither fielded for the Assembly in 2018 nor was given a ticket in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Since then, he has allegedly been seething inwardly.
Plan to shift again
Lately, however, he has been making cryptic comments about his future course of action.
At an informal meeting with his supporters recently at Yellandu, he said that all birds will return to their respective nests after sunset.
His comment added fuel to the fire of speculation that he was contemplating joining Sharmila’s YSRTP. He had also said that he would be in the electoral battlefield in the upcoming elections, no matter what.
Sharmila also has made her intention clear that she would seek election to the Assembly from Palair, from where Congress candidate K Upender Reddy was elected in 2018, but later defected to BRS.
Srinivas Reddy kept himself away from the BRS public meeting in Khammam on 18 January, which only showed that he has crossed the point of no return, as far as his relations with KCR are concerned.
‘KCR went back on promise’
At the meeting with his supporters at Yellandu, Reddy had stated that KCR had gone back on his promise to him and, even then, he had remained committed to the BRS.
He said that though his supporters wanted him to contest in the last Lok Sabha elections as an independent then, he did not heed their advice as he had faith in KCR that he would be with him.
However, in the last Parliamentary elections, KCR had brought in a candidate from another community — Nama Nageswara Rao — and fielded him for Lok Sabha.
Srinivas Reddy rued that he could not do anything for his supporters for the last four years as he was not an MP.