'Aya Ram, Gaya Ram': Turncoats looking for greener pastures in poll-bound Telangana

Though Aya Ram and Gaya Rams got the tagline from Haryana politics for shifting of loyalties by MLAs in a jiffy, it is now often used for those changing parties

By CR Gowri Shanker  Published on  3 Nov 2023 5:38 AM GMT
Aya Ram, Gaya Ram: Turncoats looking for greener pastures in poll-bound Telangana

Hyderabad: Aya Ram, Gaya Ram culture has touched its zenith and moral values at its nadir in Telangana politics.

The situation has come to such a pass that voters are confused and asking leaders, and workers “Kaun se party mein hai saab”.

Telangana is witnessing mass migration of leaders and parties-- Aya Ram Gaya Rams—unheard of in the past as assembly elections close in.

Dumping of parties has become the order of the day, some for denial of Assembly tickets, some saw no future in the existing party, and some for assured benefits in other parties!

Though Aya Ram and Gaya Rams got the tagline from Haryana politics for shifting of loyalties by MLAs in a jiffy, it is now often used for those changing parties.

Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), Indian National Congress (INC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are the worst hit.

While denial of Assembly tickets for self and kin has been the major reason, the winds of change in favor of Congress after its big win in neighboring Karnataka State has also led to a beeline to the party, mostly from BJP.

In the process, Congress image shot up, and leaders, and cadres from other parties are making a beeline and those who quit the party are also doing “Ghar wapasi.”

Luckily, BRS decision to announce candidates for the majority of Assembly seats saved the party to some extent.

KCR, unlike in the past is leaving no stone unturned to have as many leaders as possible from rival parties on his bandwagon and use them for polls to deride the rivals!

KCR, KTR, and Harish Rao woo rival leaders and welcome Gharwapsi

Though facing health issues, Chief Minister and BRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao, who is trying hard for a hattrick win in the 2023 polls roped in his son and Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao and nephew, Finance, and Health Minister T Harish Rao to reach out to disgruntled leaders in Congress, BJP and other parties and bring them to BRS fold.

Rama Rao and Harish Rao, are seen crisscrossing the State for enrolment of unhappy leaders from other parties and the trio has been successful so far.

In fact, in many cases, KCR personally welcomed new entrants to the party.

Surveys influence leaders

Election surveys by various pollsters and parties added to the confusion among the leaders and cadre in parties leading to shifting of loyalties. It’s also influencing leaders and workers in various parties. While some surveys predicted a big win for BRS and some projected Congress!

BJP takes the brunt of migration

In the Aya Ram, Gaya Ram melee, Telangana BJP has been hit hard with scores of defections and the morale of most party leaders and cadre low after the sudden change of leadership from Bandi Sanjay to Union Tourism Minister G Krishna Reddy.

BJP's image plummeted before polls and raised suspicion of a secret deal between BRS and BJP after no serious action was taken against BRS MLC K Kavita in the liquor scam after much publicity.

BJP unwelcoming to youth

BJP official spokesman, economist Rakesh Reddy from Warangal, summed up the situation in the party,” Party had failed to acknowledge my contributions. The party is unwelcoming to youth and exploiting young members in the name of ideology.”

No ticket, Rathod Bapu Rao, MLA quits BRS and joins BJP

BRS Boath two-time MLA Rathod Bapu Rao quit the party and the Legislative Assembly peeved over the denial of the party ticket and joined the BJP.

“I quit my job as a teacher to join the Telangana agitation. I got elected twice with the blessings of my people. I have been denied the ticket without any reason. All my efforts to meet the top leadership have been in vain,” he told the media.

Bapu Rao claimed he was attracted to the BJP because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to develop the country and the importance he has been giving to the tribal people, including making Draupadi Murmu the President of India.

Rajagopal Reddy, Vivek Venkatswamy gharwapsi to Congress

Ex-MP G Vivek Venkatswamy, who also owns V 6 TV channel and Velugu Telugu Daily, quit the BJP and re-joined Congress in the presence of AICC former president Rahul Gandhi.

Nalgonda strongman, Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy, brother of Congress MP Komati Reddy Venkat Reddy quit BJP and rejoin Congress. Reddy was accused of bagging crores of rupees contract for entry into the BJP, which he denied.

Komati Reddy Rajagopal Reddy unsuccessfully contested on the BJP ticket in the by-poll for the Munugode Assembly constituency in 2022.

Reddy wrote on social media: “Activists are my strength. Fans are my breath. Their aspirations are my ambition. Positions are not new to me. My decision is for the people.”

Nagam Janardhan Reddy bids adieu to Congress and joins BRS

In a major boost to BRS, former minister Nagam Janardhan Reddy, former MLA Vishnuvardhan Reddy (son of P Janardhan Reddy), Kolhapur leader Rampulla Reddy, Karimnagar leader Kota Jaipal Reddy, and other Congress leaders joined BRS in the presence of KCR.

Nagam, a close associate of KCR in Telugu Desam, was personally welcomed by CM.

KCR praises Nagam

"Nagam Janardhan Reddy was active in the Telangana movement of 1969. He also went to jail. With Nagam Janardhan joining, our strength doubled. We will certainly win 14 seats in Palamuru (Old Mahabubnagar district)," KCR remarked.

Vishnu’s future is my responsibility

On Vishunuvardhan Reddy, KCR said,” Vishnuvardhan Reddy is my responsibility for his good political future. PJR is my best friend and his son Vishnu is like a member of my family. I request Vishnu and MLA Mahanti Gopinath to work together," he added.

Slamming the Opposition, KCR accused them of indulging in bad politics. “Opposition parties are doing bad politics unable to digest development. They attacked Kotha MP Prabhakar Reddy. We have to be careful and win the elections which will be a slap on their faces, let's all move forward unitedly," the BRS chief said.

BJP leader and former MLA Revuri Prakash Reddy joined the Congress in the presence of Rahul Gandhi, and Telugu Desam politburo member Ravula Chandrasekhar Reddy joined the BRS. KTR welcomed him into the party.

One of the last key leaders of TDP in Telangana, Chandrasekhar Reddy was with the party since 1982 when it was floated by N.T. Rama Rao. He was elected twice to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly from Wanaparthy besides serving as a Rajya Sabha member.

Minister for Panchayat Raj E. Dayakar Rao, who was Chandrasekhar Reddy’s colleague in TDP, played a key role in bringing him into the BRS.

Jitta Balakrishna Reddy returns to KCR

Congress leader Jitta Balakrishna Reddy, once a close associate of KCR during the Telangana movement, also rejoined the BRS.

Reddy quit TRS (now BRS) to float Yuva Telangana Party, and merged his Party with the BJP last year. Unhappy with being sidelined by BJP leadership, he joined Congress in July.

Since Congress rejected his demand for a Bhongir Assembly ticket, he went to BRS.

Former president of the Telangana Non-Gazetted Officers’ Association Mamila Rajender also joined the ruling party.

Sudhakar dumps Congress

Congress got a jolt with TPCC Vice President Dr Cheruku Sudhakar resigning from the party. Telangana Inti Party leader Sudhakar had joined Congress last month and had merged his party.

It is learnt Congress MP Komati Reddy Venkat Reddy was unhappy over Sudhakar being admitted into the party.

A purported audio tape created a sensation in March wherein Venkat Reddy allegedly threatened to kill Sudhakar and his son Dr Suhas. There is also a tiff in Congress over seat sharing with communists.

MIM too faces rumbling

There is unusual rumbling in the AIMIM party too headed by Asaduddin Owaisi in Hyderabad following reports that Charminar MLA Mumtaz Ahmed Khan is being asked to pave the way for a newcomer due to his long tenure.

Rumors were agog that he might seek a Congress ticket if denied to contest again.

All parties in the State are facing hiccups and more are expected once all the seats are finalized, with the common man enjoying the political spectacle of sorts.

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