With a few weeks left for the Assembly Elections in Telangana, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MP K Vishweswar Reddy -- the richest parliamentarian in the state, with declared assets worth over Rs 500 crore --- has resigned from the party. Seen as a major setback for the K Chandrashekar Rao-led ruling party, there is a strong buzz that he might join the Congress when UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi visits the state later this month. The Assembly elections in the state will be held on December 7 and the counting will be done on December 11.
A parliamentarian from Chevalla in the Ranga Reddy district, Vishweswar Reddy belongs to the politically influential Reddy community and this shift could influence the vote in at least a few constituencies, according to NDTV.
An engineer-turned-politician, Reddy joined the Telangana Rashtra Samithi in 2013. His grandfather Konda Venkata Ranga Reddy was a freedom fighter who became the Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. The Ranga Reddy district is said to have been named after him. He is the son-in-law of Apollo Hospitals founder Prathap C Reddy. His wife Sangeetha Reddy is the managing director of the Apollo Hospitals.
According to TRS insiders, Reddy was upset with the senior leadership who were not giving him the due importance. In a three-page letter to party chief and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday, Reddy spoke of ideological reasons that added up to deep criticism of the party.
Amid the deep rift, there were reports that Revanth Reddy, the working president of the state Congress, had challenged KCR to stop Reddy from quitting the party.
Assembly elections were due in Telangana next year, but the chief minister pushed for early elections in hopes of keeping his voter base together ahead of next year's general elections. Currently the Telangana Rashtra Samithi has 63 seats in the 117-member Assembly, the Congress has 22 and the BJP has nine.