Surekha and Murali ‘assured’ of party tickets. The TRS is hopeful that their presence in the party will have a positive impact on its prospects in three Assembly segments. Mr. Murali met TPCC chief Ponnala Lakshmaiah earlier in the day.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leadership on Tuesday pulled off a coup by luring the ‘powerful’ Konda couple – Surekha and Murali – into the party even as the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) leadership tried its best to wean them away from joining the TRS.

The joining of Ms. Surekha, a three-time former MLA, and Mr. Murali, a former MLC, in the TRS is set to strengthen the party in Warangal district where it has a strong base. The TRS is hopeful that their presence in the party will have a positive impact on its prospects in three Assembly segments. Mr. Murali met TPCC chief Ponnala Lakshmaiah earlier in the day.

Speaking to the newspersons after meeting TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao along with her husband at the latter’s residence, Ms. Surekha said they had set no conditions before joining the TRS. However, party sources said the Konda couple was assured of party tickets for Warangal East and Bhupalapalli Assembly constituencies by the TRS chief.

She say that they were joining the TRS with a belief that reconstruction of Telangana was possible only with the TRS. “The TRS is also working for the empowerment of backward classes in Telangana,” she pointed out.

When asked about the differences they had with the TRS leadership in the past, Ms. Surekha said that they only had ideological differences. TRS general secretary K.T. Rama Rao said: “We want to forget the past and start working afresh for the betterment of Telangana.”

Meanwhile, upset with the decision to admit the Konda couple into party and the reported offer of Warangal East ticket to Ms. Surekha, party in-charge Vidyasagar held an emergency meeting with his supporters in Warangal opposing allotment of party tickets to ‘outsiders’ from the constituency.

He attempted suicide by pouring kerosene on himself, but was prevented by his supporters.