Says he will strive for rejuvenation of the party in Vijayawada (West)
Several leaders welcome him back into the party
I have done a mistake in leaving Congress: Jaeel
VIJAYAWADA: Former MLA Jaleel Khan rejoined the Congress amidst much fanfare here on Tuesday. City Congress president Pyla Sominaidu gave him party membership at Andhra Ratna Bhavan, the city Congress party’s headquarters in the morning.
He later took out an impressive rally with nearly 300 vehicles from his residence in One Town to the new election office of MP Lagadapati Rajagopal near Benz Circle. The rally culminated into a public meeting addressed by Animal Husbandry Minister Mandali Buddha Prasad, Mr. Rajagopal, Mayor Mallika Begum and many senior Congress leaders, including veterans Pinnamaneni Koteswara Rao and G.S. Raju (Siris Raju).
The speakers congratulated Mr. Khan and welcomed him back into the party, saying: “Hearty welcome to Jaleel Bhai.”
They recalled his services to the Congress and also the circumstances that forced him before 2004 Assembly elections to join the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). “His aggressive behaviour played spoilsport during the last elections. He now understood the true colours of Chandrababu Naidu and the TDP. I’m happy that he has come back to the Congress,” said Mr. Buddha Prasad.
Mr. Rajagopal said Mr. Khan was waiting to rejoin the Congress for the last four and half years. “Jaleel Bhai, we welcome you,” he remarked.
Ms. Begum, who is believed to be nursing an ambition to contest from Vijayawada (West) constituency and now faces a tough competition for the ticket from Mr. Khan, was the cynosure of all eyes. But she was all praise for Mr. Khan, and said: “Now, the environs give an impression that it is Id. I’m happy that he rejoined the Congress. He is the ‘Tiger of Vijayawada (West)’ and is like my brother. With the blessings of Allah, it’s a new life, new dawn.”
Mr. Khan said that the MP had taken the initiative and taken up the matter with Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and PCC president D. Srinivas.
The MP was capable of taking up the matter with AICC president Sonia Gandhi, if required, he said, adding: “I did a mistake by leaving the party. I realised my mistake and tendered unconditional apologies to the leadership.”
There was no proper leadership for the party in Vijayawada (West) so far, he claimed, adding that he would strive for rejuvenation of the party in the constituency.