Congress, TDP leaders to join party
The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) is expecting seven MPs and ten MLAs from the Congress and 16 MLAs from the TDP from Telangana region to jump to its side ahead of the elections.
Party sources named the MPs as Ponnam Prabhakar, G. Vivekanand, Gutha Sukhender Reddy, Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy, Madhu Yaskhi Goud, S. Rajaiah and Manda Jagannatham. They had contacted the TRS leadership to explore the possibility of joining the party after resigning as MPs.
These MPs are reportedly disillusioned at the Congress high command ignoring their struggles for separate Telangana. However, Mr. Rajagopal Reddy dropped hints about his inclination towards the YSR Congress which is steadily gaining a foothold in Nalgonda. He represents Bhongir Lok Sabha constituency in that district.
Mr. Rajagopal Reddy’s brother and ex-Minister Venkat Reddy is among the ten Congress MLAs whom the TRS expects to rope in. The latter has already announced his decision to resign from Congress. The TRS sources said sixteen TDP MLAs, including Hanmanth Shinde (Jukkal constituency in Nizamabad), had also expressed willingness to join the party.
The claims of the TRS took an intriguing turn after Congress MLC M. Ranga Reddy, a close aide of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, claimed that at least 20 MLAs of TDP and TRS were ready to join the ruling party. He based his remarks after the suspended TDP MLA S. Venugopalachary called on him at his residence.
The admission of MLAs from other parties was expected to bolster the chances of TRS where it did not have the strength. For instance, the TRS does not have any representation in the 29 Assembly constituencies of Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy and 10 of Khammam. The party was also weak on inter-region and inter-State borders such as Huzurnagar, Kodad and Jukkal which exposed its vulnerability in about 50 out of 119 constituencies in the region.