HYDERABAD: Congress MLA representing Kothagudem Vanama Venkateswara Rao, who has met TRS working president K T Rama Rao recently, formally announced on Sunday that he would join the TRS. On Friday, along with Vanama, LB Nagar legislator D Sudheer Reddy met the TRS leader, sending the Congress into a tailspin which had been losing MLAs one after the other to the TRS.
The number of the Congress legislators who have joined the TRS or have announced their intention has risen to eight and the TRS is keen on luring at least 13 MLAs so that they would form two thirds of 19-member strong CLP for effecting a merger in the TRS.
In a statement, Vanama Venkateswara Rao said that he had decided to switch sides keeping in mind only the interests of his constituency.
“I was convinced that only under Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s leadership that we could ensure all-round development of my constituency. He has given an assurance to me to this effect,” he said.
He came up with the familiar refrain that he would seek re-lection as TRS nominee, if necessary, since he was elected to the Assembly on Congress ticket.
He said K Chandrasekhar Rao has taken up Sitarama Lift Irrigation Project which would provide irrigation facility to 10 lakh acres in Kothagudem district. “The people have reposed faith in KCR for a second time. By joining the TRS, I believe I am honouring the opinion of the people,” he said.
Apart from Vanama and Sudheer Reddy, six Congress MLAs have crossed the Rubicon and are in the TRS already. The first to join the TRS were Athram Sakku (Asifabad) and Rega Kantha Rao (Pinapaka). Then followed Sabitha Indra Reddy (Maheswaram), Haripirya Banoth (Yellendu), Chirumarthi Lingaiah (Nakdrekal) and Kandala Upender Reddy (Palair).