Telangana: Congress engineering defections to improve presence

In the Jagtial Assembly segment, 72-year-old Congress MLC T Jeevan Reddy lost consecutive elections in 2018 and 2023 to the BRS.
MLC T Jeevan Reddy
MLC T Jeevan ReddyFile Photo

HYDERABAD: The Congress appears serious about strengthening its presence in areas where it is weak by engineering defections of BRS MLAs.

With the recent inductions of BRS MLAs into the Congress, the party is silently implementing a strategy to improve its footprint with the help of those who are joining its ranks, party sources said.

The Congress, which has a wafer-thin majority in the Assembly, is trying to acquire stability by taking in MLAs from other parties. The party at the same time appears more keen on the constituencies where it is traditionally weak and had lost consecutive elections in the past.

For instance, the Congress has not won the Banswada segment in the past four decades except in the 2004 Assembly elections. Whether it is the TDP or BRS which won from Banswada, the legislator has been the same — former Speaker Pocharam Srinvasa Reddy, who won seven elections, including bypolls.

In Jagtial Assembly segment, 72-year-old Congress MLC T Jeevan Reddy lost consecutive elections in 2018 and 2023 to the BRS.

Speaking to TNIE, a Congress leader said that Jeevan Reddy may not choose to contest in the next general elections as he would turn 77 by then. “That’s why it welcomed BRS MLA Dr M Sanjay Kumar into its fold,” he said.

In Chevella (SC reserved) Assembly constituency, the BRS won consecutive elections in 2018 and 2023. In the run-up to the 2023 Assembly elections, the Congress depended on survey reports and fielded a newbie but he lost to his BRS rival. Now the Congress has landed the sitting BRS MLA Kale Yadaiah.

The grand old party is aware of the fact that despite the Congress wave in 2023, the BRS managed to win 39 seats, securing 37.35% vote share. The Congress is now poised to appropriate to itself the BRS vote bank by engineering defections. It remains to be seen if its strategy will pay dividends.

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