Rahul prevents T-MLA from quitting party

Last Updated : 17 March 2014, 19:19 IST
Last Updated : 17 March 2014, 19:19 IST

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In a rare intervention, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi called Nandiswar Goud, MLA from Patancheru in Medak district, to convince him against quitting the party.

Goud had made all arrangements to join the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

Rahul spoke to Goud twice and assured him that all issues that are agitating him will be addressed. Encouraged by the phone call, Goud immediately shot off a letter to the All India Congress Committee for redressal. 

Speaking to media persons after Rahul’s phone call, an elated Goud, accompanied by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief Ponnala Lakshmaiah, announced that he will not quit the party.

The state Congress which was waiting for the TRS to announce the merger delayed setting up a separate Pradesh Congress Committee, which unwittingly paved way for attrition.  After Rahul spoke to Goud, TPCC leaders swung into action in the case of Pratap Reddy, who was ready to switch over to the TRS, after he was troubled by former minister Shankar Rao, who considers Reddy as his competitor. 

But after the intervention, Reddy also announced that he is not going to leave the Congress.   

In Telangana, the Congress will receive a big shock in the shape of Konda Surekha and husband Murali, who were slated to join the TRS as they have promised Surekha a ticket to contest from Warangal. 

Surekha, a staunch follower of former chief minister Rajashekara Reddy, quit the Congress and joined the Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSR Congress (YSRC).  

The couple soon left Jagan’s party protesting against his pro-Samaikyandhra stance and returned to the Congress. Former MLA Jalagam Venkat Rao, son of former chief minister Jalagam Vengala Rao, has joined the TRS from YSRC. 

However, Seemandhra Congress leaders Kutuhalamma (Gangadhara Nellore), Thippeswamy (Anantapur), Shankar Yadav (Tamballapalli) have quit and joined the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Monday. 

Former state minister Kavuri Sambasiva Rao and Guntur MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao have also decided to join the TDP. 

In Seemandhra, the Congress has announced a “Bus Yatra” from Srikakulam to Anantapur, to motivate party cadre. 

“The party cadres are a bit disappointed by the bifurcation. Now we hope that the yatra will revive the party’s fortunes in Seemandhra,” K Chiranjeevi, campaign head of Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee said.

Published 17 March 2014, 19:19 IST

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