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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

BRS exodus in arrest season, legislators flock to safe havens in Congress, BJP ahead of polls

B. Venkatesh Nethakani (Peddapalli), Pasunuri Dayakar (Warangal) and G. Ranjith Reddy (Chevella) left the BRS to join the Congress, while B.B. Patil (Zaheerabad) and P. Ramulu (Nagarkurnool) have headed to the BJP

K.M. Rakesh Bangalore Published 20.03.24, 08:53 AM
K Kavitha.

K Kavitha. PTI

Elected representatives are leaving the embattled Bharath Rashtra Samithi in Telangana for safe havens in the ruling Congress and the BJP ahead of the
general election.

Five Lok Sabha members have quit the BRS, three of them heading to the Congress and two to the BJP, while one MLA has switched sides to the Congress, over the past
few days.

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B. Venkatesh Nethakani (Peddapalli), Pasunuri Dayakar (Warangal) and G. Ranjith Reddy (Chevella) left the BRS to join the Congress, while B.B. Patil (Zaheerabad) and P. Ramulu (Nagarkurnool) have headed to the BJP.

The BJP quickly announced Patil as its candidate in Zaheerabad and gave the party ticket for Nagarkurnool to Ramulu’s son, P. Bharath.

The BJP, which has so far named candidates for all but two of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in the state, has accommodated four turncoats — all former elected representatives of the BRS and the Congress.

Chief minister Revanth Reddy said more BRS MLAs would join the Congress in the coming days, apparently to bolster the ruling benches in the Assembly.

“In the last 100 days you have got to see my performance as chief minister. But from now on you will get to see my work as state Congress president,” Reddy said recently, dropping clear hints about the party benefiting from defections from the Opposition.

“Our gates are open only partially. You will see what happens once we open them fully,” he said.

A Congress source said at least 18 BRS MLAs were in touch with Reddy, but didn’t have precise information on when they might defect.

But there is another angle to the urgency with which the Congress is trying to welcome Opposition MLAs.

“The Congress is trying to strengthen its numbers in the Assembly since the government has a rather thin majority,” political analyst Ande Satyam told The Telegraph on Tuesday.

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