The already weakened and floundering Telangana Congress was left reeling after Munugode MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy today announced his intention of joining the BJP soon.
The MLA, brother of senior Congress leader Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, dropped the bombshell while speaking to reporters in Tirupati after offering prayers at the Tirumala temple on the occasion of the New Year day.
Explaining his decision, Rajagopal Reddy said that he stood by his earlier prediction that the BJP would emerge as a strong political force in the state, as it was clear, especially after the Dubbaka Assembly by-election and the GHMC elections, that the saffron party was indeed fast becoming the most viable alternative to the ruling party, the TRS, which was what had prompted him to take the decision to switch over.
Claiming that the BJP was likely to only grow stronger in the coming days, Reddy added that he thought it wise to join the party keeping in mind the interests of the people of his constituency.
He however also made it clear that his brother and MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy had nothing to do with his decision, and would continue to serve the Congress.
The MLA also assured his supporters that his upcoming move to the BJP had in no way affected his relationship with his brother.
Commenting on the yet unresolved issue of the appointment of the next TPCC president
, he said that his brother and MP A Revanth Reddy were competing with each other for the post, and that time alone would tell who would be picked for the role.
The announcement by Rajagopal Reddy is likely to have left the TPCC leadership worried since his defection to the BJP will leave the Congress with just five MLAs in the 119-member Assembly. Though the party had won 19 seats in the 2018 Assembly elections, 12 leaders have defected to the TRS since.