Revanth calls on BJP’s Jitender Reddy while Malla Reddy holds a tete-a-tete with DK Shivakumar

While former minister and BRS leader Ch Malla Reddy is all set to join the Congress, BJP former MP AP Jithender Reddy seems to be following suit after CM Revanth Reddy's unexpected visit to him.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Mar 14, 2024 | 8:58 PMUpdatedMar 14, 2024 | 10:02 PM

Ch Malla Reddy and AP Jithender Reddy

It is party-hopping time in Telangana. Former minister and an important leader of BRS Ch Malla Reddy is all set to join the Congress while the BJP’s former MP AP Jithender Reddy seems to be following suit after Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy’s unexpected visit to him at his residence in Hyderabad on Thursday, 14 March.

In another development, former Wardhannapet BRS MLA Aroori Ramesh, after refuting reports of joining the BJP, is now keen on going to the saffron party to seek a ticket for Warangal Lok Sabha seat. The BJP has not yet announced its candidate for Warangal.

Ramesh, who denied that he was leaving the pink party on Wednesday after meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Hyderabad the previous day, seems to have made a volte-face on Thursday.

Read: BRS announces candidates for 4 Lok Sabha constituencies, replaces 2 MPs

Aroori Ramesh to join BJP, ‘kidnapped’

He is understood to be planning to join the BJP and secure the ticket for the Warangal (SC) seat. He is likely to meet the BJP’s top leaders in Delhi to clinch the deal.

He was “kidnapped” from his residence in Hanamkonda on Wednesday while he was about to announce his decision to join the BJP to the media persons and was taken straight to KCR in Hyderabad in a car.

He later said that he was in BRS very much and had no intention of leaving the party.

However, on Thursday he seemed to have a change of mind once again.

Then, the Telangana chief minister’s unexpected visit to the BJP leader AP Jithender Reddy took place in Hyderabad. The chief minister spent considerable time with him and his family members.

Read: As Naidu ties up with BJP in AP, TDP supporters in Telangana in quandary

CM’s ‘visit’ to Jithender Reddy

The chief minister, accompanied by Revenue Minister Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy, former BRS minister Patnam Mahender Reddy, who is now in the Congress and Vem Narender Reddy, reportedly advised the former MP to join the Congress.

The BJP dropped Jithender Reddy for the Mahabubnagar Lok Sabha seat for DK Aruna, though he was a former MP on behalf of the BRS between 2014-19. He joined the saffron party after the pink party preferred Manne Srinivas Reddy for the seat in 2019.

Aruna also joined the BJP, disillusioned with the Congress after it bit the dust in the 2018 Assembly elections and joined the BJP ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

She fought and lost the election from Mahbubnagar on a BJP ticket. Aruna polled about 3.33 lakh votes against the BRS’ Srinivas Reddy who secured 4.11 lakh votes and won the seat.

After Revanth Reddy left his residence, Jithender Reddy told media persons that the chief minister visited him as they were good friends though they were in different parties.

“He is like my younger brother. We both belong to the Mahabubnagar district. After seeing a news report in the morning that the BJP had denied Mahbubnagar ticket to me, the chief minister visited only to comfort me,” he said and denied any move to join the Congress.

Asked if Revanth Reddy had offered him a ticket for contesting in the Lok Sabha elections, Jithender Reddy said that the Congress had already announced the ticket for Mahbubnagar for Challa Vamshi Chand Reddy and there was no way he could be accommodated.

Asked whether the offer was for Chevella, he said that there was no such offer and more importantly, the candidate for Chevella was ready for the Congress: Patnam Mahender Reddy’s wife. He said there were no politics involved in Revanth Reddy’s visit and the chief minister met him to share his angst over the BJP not nominating him for Mahbubnagar.

Also Read: Prime Minister Modi to hold roadshow in Hyderabad on 15 March

Ch Malla Reddy, son to switch loyalty to the Congress

Meanwhile, another interesting development took place in the neighbouring state of Karnataka. Former BRS minister and Medchal MLA Ch Malla Reddy and his son Bhadra Reddy met the deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka DK Shiv Kumar in a hotel, and reportedly requested him to facilitate their entry into the Congress.

Malla Reddy and his son are understood to have sought an appointment with Priyanka Gandhi to meet her to formalise their admission into the party.

The political grapevine says that Malla Reddy and Bhadra Reddy had decided to switch loyalty to the Congress because the Revanth Reddy government is bearing down on them and their educational institutions.

When the BRS was in power, Malla Reddy, on several occasions, had used abusive language against Revanth Reddy.

After the Congress came to power in the state, the state government officials pulled down part of a building of a college belonging to Malla Reddy’s son-in-law Marri Rajasekhar Reddy, claiming that it was constructed on encroached land.

After the incident, Malla Reddy met the chief minister’s advisor Vem Narender Reddy. When the news of their meeting came out, he denied joining the Congress and even told the party supremo KCR that he was not leaving the BRS.

(Edited by Shauqueen Mizaj)