Jolt to BRS as Peddapalli MP Venkatesh Netha joins Congress ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Adding fuel to the fire, a handful of BRS leaders from Mahabubnagar also made a strategic move to align themselves with the grand old party.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Feb 06, 2024 | 12:50 PMUpdatedFeb 06, 2024 | 10:02 PM

BRS Peddapalli MP B Venkatesh Netha joins the Congress on 6 February. (X)

In a rude jolt to the BRS, Peddapalli MP B Venkatesh Netha, made a grand entrance into the Congress fold. The dramatic switch unfolded in the company of party General Secretary KC Venugopal, Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy, and Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka in Delhi on Tuesday, 6 February.

Adding fuel to the political fire, a handful of BRS leaders from Mahabubnagar also made a strategic move to align themselves with the grand old party.

Netha, accompanied by the Telangana Chief Minister, paid a visit to KC Venugopal’s residence and officially joined the ranks of the grand old party. Venugopal, in a symbolic gesture, ushered him into the party’s with the revered Congress Uttareeyam (upper cloth).

Chief Minister Revanth Reddy is presently in Delhi, along with Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and Revenue Minister Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy.

Also Read: Sonia Gandhi tells Revanth Reddy she will consider contesting Lok Sabha polls from Telangana

MP Venkatesh Netha exits BRS

The induction of Venkatesh Netha into the Congress is perceived as the opening act of a larger spectacle — defections of BRS leaders into the grand old party. Netha’s departure is seen as a blow to the BRS, which is already striving to recuperate from the aftermath of its resounding defeat at the hands of the Congress in the recent Assembly elections.

This upheaval couldn’t have come at a more precarious moment for the BRS, endeavouring to fortify its position within the state and improve its prospects in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The party is determined to salvage its tarnished image and shield its cadres from further erosion.

Venkatesh Netha, who secured a resounding victory in the Peddapalli Lok Sabha seat reserved for SCs in 2019 with a majority exceeding 95,000 votes, defeating his closest Congress rival Agama Chandrashekar, now stands as a prominent face in the Congress lineup. Netha garnered an impressive 45.5 percent of the total votes cast in the election for the coveted seat.

Peddapalli, once a stronghold of the Congress, transitioned to the TDP and subsequently, following the formation of Telangana state, fell into the hands of the BRS in 2014. In the 2014 elections, Balka Suman clinched the seat for the BRS.

Since the constituency’s inception in 1962, the Congress had predominantly held sway over it, with the TDP securing the seat thrice before relinquishing it to the BRS in 2014.

Also Read: How Krishna river row in Telangana has turned into a poll plank for Congress-BRS showdown