Telangana: BJP gives LS poll tickets to 5 leaders with a BRS past

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday, March 2, released its first list of 195 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls happening across the country and has released 9 names for Telangana.

It is interesting to observe that 5 out of these 9 names- Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, Eatala Rajender, Boora Narsaiah Goud, Pothuganti Bharat, and BB Patil in the past were associated with the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS).

Konda Vishweshwar Reddy

Konda Vishweshwar Reddy joined politics in 2013 with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) (now BRS) party and later switched to the Indian National Congress (2018) and resigned in 2021, before finally joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the same year.

He served as a Member of Parliament in the 16th Lok Sabha for the BRS representing the Chevella constituency, the same place that the BJP renominated him for the upcoming LS polls.

He is the son of Konda Madhava Reddy, an eminent personality in the Indian judiciary who served as the Chief Justice of Hyderabad High Court and Bombay High Court, as well as a member of the Council of Smaller States in New Delhi, Vishweshwar Reddy.

He is also the grandson of K V Ranga Reddy, a Congress veteran who served as the first deputy chief minister of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. The Ranga Reddy district is named after him.

Reddy was the richest MP from Telangana between 2014 and 2019 with declared assets of Rs 528 crore. He is also the son-in-law of Apollo Hospitals Group chairman Pratap C Reddy and his wife is Sangita Reddy, managing director of Apollo Hospitals.

Vishweshwar Reddy is a successful software entrepreneur and is the founder of Citadel Research & Solutions, a company involved in engineering research and development.

He was involved in the creation of several IPRs. As a professional, he worked for General Electric as the CEO and managing director of GE MSIT and as the CEO and managing director of Wipro HCIT Wipro.

In his resignation letter to TRS president KCR in 2018, he expressed that he felt a “growing distance between the party and the people over the last two years, with individuals opposed to Telangana being welcomed into the party and given significant power.”

Reddy also highlighted his disappointment at various levels within the party, including “injustice” to workers who supported Telangana statehood and a sense that those who fought for Telangana “were no longer valued within the party.”

Eatala Rajender

Once known for being BRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao’s (KCR) “right-hand man”, Eatala Rajender was in the high command of the pink party along with party senior leaders K T Rama Rao (KTR) and T Harish Rao.

He joined the TRS (now BRS) in 2003, two years after KCR announced the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to fight for the Telangana statehood cause.

He was the finance Minister (2014 to 2018) and later served as the health minister (2019 to 2021) in KCR’s cabinet.

In May 2021, Eatala faced allegations of land encroachments in Achampet and Hakimpet villages in the Medak district, and he was sacked by KCR from his ministerial portfolio and subsequently dismissed from the state cabinet. Subsequently on 4 June, he resigned from BRS.

It is important to note that the corruption allegations surfaced after open dissidence by Rajender against KCR at various forums on several issues.

He won a by-election from Huzurabad in 2021 as the BJP’s candidate and challenged KCR at Gajwel in the 2023 Assembly polls along with a contest at Huzurabad, but lost the election at both the constituencies to BRS.

The Mudiraj community (BC) leader now is nominated from the Malkajgiri constituency in Hyderabad.

Boora Narsaiah Goud

Joining the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (then TRS in 2009, he won as a Member of Parliament in the 16th Lok Sabha representing the Bhongir constituency in the 2014 election and lost in 2019.

Goud quit the BRS on 15 October 2022 and joined the BJP on 19 October 2022.

He also served as a laparoscopic, obesity, and gastrointestinal surgeon. He was a proponent of Telangana statehood and was a member of the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC).

He is currently the director of the Hyderabad Institute of Laparoendoscopic Surgery (HILS) and provides services at Aditya Hospital and Care Hospital in the city.

He quit the BRS in 2022 expressing dissatisfaction with the party’s functioning, stating that he was not consulted about the formation of the BRS from TRS and was unaware of the party’s agenda.

He also blamed the party’s top leadership for “inaccessibility.”

“I quit with the question as to what should I do if I cannot meet the top leader of the party. It was not for my political future,” he said.

The party nominated him from Bhongir for the LS polls where he will face one more contest.

Pothuganti Bharat

Pothuganti Bharat, son of Nagarkurnool MP Pothuganti Ramulu, joined the BJP along with his father, two days ahead of the party’s announcement of its first list for LS polls. The saffron party nominated Bharat instead of Ramulu for the LS polls from the same seat.

Bharat served as the BRS party’s youth leader before the switch.

Ramulu hails from the Dalit community and is quite influential in the district. His son got the nomination for the upcoming LS poll contest from the same seat.

Ramulu cited admiration for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies as a reason for his switch.

Ramulu, originally from Gunduru village in Kalwakurthy mandal, began his career as a government teacher before transitioning into politics in 1994.

He successfully ran for MLA three times under the TDP ticket in the 1994, 1999, and 2009 elections representing the Achampet assembly segment.

Ramulu later held the position of sports and youth services minister in N Chandrababu Naidu’s administration.

Following the formation of Telangana state, he switched allegiance from TDP to BRS (later TRS) and secured victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Nagarkurnool.

BB Patil

B.B. Patil, a two-time parliamentarian from Zaheerabad joined the BJP on March 1, immediately after the joining of Pothuganti Ramulu and his son.

Crediting PM Narendra Modi’s vision for his switch, he said that the reason for joining the BJP “was to develop his constituency and Telangana as a whole.”

The party’s selection process for candidates reportedly involved a meticulous consideration of various factors such as caste equations, internal surveys, and the candidates’ perceived winnability.

Home Minister Amit Shah has set a target for the BJP to secure at least 10 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana, indicating a strong determination to expand the party’s presence in the state.

To achieve its electoral goals, the BJP is actively engaging with the electorate through yatras and roadshows conducted across Telangana.

The party said that these outreach efforts are aimed at connecting with the people at the grassroots level, understanding their concerns, and seeking their support for the upcoming elections.

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