HYDERABAD: Giving a rude jolt to the CPI leadership, its lone MLA in the Telangana state Assembly Ravindra Kumar Ramavath has decided to cross over to the ruling TRS. The announcement came on a day when Congress bigwigs like Nalgonda MP Gutha Sukhender Reddy, former MP G Vivek, former state minister G Vinod, Miryalguda MLA N Bhasker Rao and others made it official that they would join the pink party on June 15 in the presence of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Though there were reports that the Congress leaders are leaning towards TRS, Ravindra Kumar's decision came as a shock to the CPI leadership. Ravindra Kumar joined Sukhender Reddy and others at the press conference held at Vivek's residence in Hyderabad to announce his decision.
Once Ravindra Kumar joins TRS, the number of parties that will lose their representation in the Assembly will become three. Parties like BSP and YSRC, which had representation in the Assembly after winning two and three seats respectively in the 2014 elections, now have no representation with all their MLAs joining TRS.
Ravindra Kumar represents Devarakonda constituency in Nalgonda district.
The constituency is a CPI bastion since decades and Ravindra Kumar is a two-time MLA from the constituency.
Though Congress leaders said infighting in the party was the reason for them to switch loyalties, sources said Ravindra Kumar did not have any problems with his party nor any special interest towards the TRS.
CPI national general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy speaking to Express said he was shocked over the development. “I am shocked and taken aback after learning that an MLA from CPI had deserted the party. This never happened,” he said.
Stating that Ravindra Kumar is an honest and non-controversial leader, Sudhakar Reddy said he was forced to take the decision due to local pressure and also from Sukhender Reddy. Ravindra Kumar, however, said he is joining the TRS for development of his constituency. “I have not met the CM till now. I will meet him soon and will join the TRS on July 15,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sukhender Reddy and others said they were vexed with the infighting in the Congress and are leaving the party. “Also, we want to be part of the development that is being taking place in the TRS government,” Sukhender Reddy said.
Vivek said he is indebted to senior Congress leaders like K Jana Reddy, N Uttam Kumar Reddy and all others who extended their support to him over the years.
Former minister J Ratnakar Rao's son Narsing Rao, who failed to get a Congress ticket to contest 2014 elections, and his brother Krishna Rao too will join TRS.
Reacting to these developments, Congress MLC Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy said the party will not be affected by the exit of a few leaders. “The Congress will bounce back and we will fight till party regains its strength,” Rajagopal Reddy said.