As was only expected, disgruntled BRS Malkajgiri MLA Mynampally Hanumantha Rao and his son Mynampally Rohith joined the Congress in the presence of party president Mallikarjun Kharge and president of the Telangana state unit Revanth Reddy, on Thursday, 28 September, in New Delhi.
Hanumantha Rao, who was on the warpath since the BRS announced its list of candidates for the forthcoming election to the Telangana Assembly, had resigned from the party earlier in the week, penning an angry missive to Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao.
Although he had been given the party ticket to contest from Malkajgiri, Hanumantha Rao launched a tirade against Health Minister T Harish Rao, accusing him of being responsible for denying his son a party ticket from neighbouring Medak constituency.
Revanth Reddy, in a media interaction on Wednesday, had said that two tickets would be given to the family of Hanumantha Rao, though it was against party policy laid down at its 2022 Chintan Shivir, or brainstorming session, in Udaipur.
Also joining the party along with the Mynampally duo was former BRS Nakrekal MLA Vemula Veeresham. He served as MLA from 2014 to 2018.
Anil Kumar Reddy from Bhongir constituency was also seen in a video the party shared. Anil Kumar, who had recently joined the ruling BRS, was welcomed back to the fold.
The Congress is likely to allot the Bhongir ticket to Anil Kumar, ignoring another aspirant and Backward Class (BC) leader Ch Venkanna Yadav.
What Hanumantha Rao said
Addressing the media in Delhi after he joined the grand old party, Hanumantha Rao said: “There are positive signs of Congress candidates winning most of the seats in the upcoming elections. Based on survey reports, the candidates will be decided by the senior leaders of the Congress party.”
Recalling his political journey, he said he had, after returning to India from the US in 1994, joined the TDP in 1997. A two-time MLA, he was with the party till the creation of Telangana state in 2014, when he joined the BRS.
He contested the Lok Sabha election from Malkajgiri and lost, but became the first president of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). He later won from the Malkajgiri Assembly constituency.
“I will work for the party and prove that I am the best candidate. I have been working for the people and they are with me. I always work as a party worker in any political party.”
BRS candidate in Malkajgiri
BRS working President KT Rama Rao had, on 26 September, in a discussion with the media on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Telangana, also commented on Mynampally Hanumantha Rao.
“It is the time for elections and members of one party will leave and join other political parties. The same will happen with the Congress party. Tomorrow, the politicians of Congress may come and join the ruling party BRS,” he had said.
Though there is no official confirmation, Chamakura Malla Reddy, the Minister of Labour and Employment in Telangana and MLA from Medchal Assembly constituency, and has been holding events and putting up hoardings that his son-in-law Marri Rajasekhar Reddy is the BRS candidate in Malkajgiri constituency.
After announcing his resignation from the BRS, Hanumantha Rao had dashed off a letter to the party supremo KCR, slamming his tendency to take unilateral decisions on all issues, and lamenting the lack of internal democracy and transparency.
In the letter, a copy of which was released to the media on 23 September, the legislator said that he was “deeply disappointed and disillusioned” with the recent developments in the BRS.
“There is no democracy or transparency in its functioning. The party leadership has ignored the voices and opinions of the grassroots workers and leaders and has taken unilateral decisions without any consultation or consensus,” the letter said.
As an example he cited the decision to change the name of the party from TRS to BRS, which, he said, was against the wishes of the rank and file of the party. The unsuccessful attempts to expand the party into neighbouring states have taken away its focus from the development of Telangana, he contended.
Hanumantha Rao said that the disconnect between the party and the people, as well the leaders and the cadres, was evident in the choice of several candidates for the Assembly elections, who are facing severe backlash from their constituents and party cadres.