Major political parties in the State found themselves in a state of confusion after names of their prominent leaders began circulating as probable defectors even as the talk of Lok Sabha elections being advanced gained momentum.
As the YSR Congress and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti went into an overdrive claiming that several Congress and the TDP legislators were all set to switch loyalties, the MLAs whose names found their way into the media launched fire-fighting operations.
Among those who found themselves in an awkward position were TDP MLA P. Keshav (Urvakonda), TRS MLA Enugu Ravinder Reddy (TRS) and Congress legislators – Akula Rajender (Malkajgiri), N. Sridhar (Wardhannapet) and Government Whip Arepalli Mohan.
Leaders of the Congress, YSRC and TRS added fuel to fire asserting that negotiations were under way with some senior leaders of rival parties. Nevertheless, it is a fact that several MLAs are under tremendous pressure to quit their respective parties and join either the YSRC or the TRS.
Among them are at least five Telangana Congress MPs who have reportedly come to an understanding with the TRS that they would quit their parent party at the end of the winter session of the Parliament if the Centre took no positive step on the Telangana issue.
At least one MP, Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy (Bhongir), and his brother Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, an MLA, have made no secret of their inclination to join the YSRC when they lambasted the Congress for its failure to address the Telangana tangle. It would be a severe blow for the Congress in Nalgonda as the Komatireddy brothers could also wean away their supporters like Ch.Lingaiah (Nakrekal MLA) and Balu Naik (Devakonda MLA)
Congress leaders foresee political changes once the ongoing ‘Maro Maha Prasthanam’ padayatra by Sharmila enters Telangana districts.
At least three Congress MLAs from RR district – D. Sudhir Reddy (L.B.Nagar), Kuna Srisailam Goud (Qutubullapur) and Bhiksapati Yadav (Serilingampally) are reportedly exploring the possibility of joining the YSRC. The name of Malladi Vishnu, an MLA representing Vijayawada Central, is also doing the rounds. Unconfirmed reports claimed that Eluru MP K. Sambasiva Rao, who was cut up with the Congress leadership on being denied a Cabinet berth, too was said to be toying with the idea of joining the YSRC. The MP, however, did not speak his mind. After the Congress suffered quite a few jolts due to defections to YSRC, it appears to be the TDP’s turn now. Its Chittoor MP N. Sivaprasad and veteran Ummareddy Venkateswarlu are being tipped as probable entrants to the YSRC apart from the suspended MLA S.Venugopala Chary (Mudhole).