Jolt To BRS As Ex-Speaker Srinivas Reddy Joins Congress

(MENAFN- IANS) Hyderabad, June 21 (IANS) In a huge setback to Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), its senior leader and former Assembly Speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy joined the ruling congress party on Friday.

Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy personally visited Srinivas Reddy's house to invite him to join the party.

Srinivas Reddy, a BRS MLA and prominent leader from Nizamabad district, accepted the invitation and agreed to work under Revanth Reddy's leadership.

The former Speaker told media persons that he is ready to work with the leadership which is delivering. He hailed the works undertaken by the Congress government for agriculture, farmers and irrigation projects.

The Chief Minister, who was accompanied by Revenue Minister Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy, welcomed Pocharam Srinivas Reddy and his son into Congress.

CM Revanth Reddy assured the former Speaker that the Congress would give him due place. The CM praised the senior leader for his efforts in the development of agriculture and the welfare of farmers.

Stating that the Congress government is working for farmers' welfare, the Chief Minister said it would take Srinivas Reddy's suggestions in this regard.

When the Chief Minister was inside Srinivas Reddy's house, there was tension outside as some BRS leaders reached there and wanted to meet the BRS MLA. They were stopped by police. The BRS leaders, including Balka Suman, were detained.

Pocharam Srinivas Reddy served as minister for agriculture and cooperation in the first BRS government between 2014 and 2018.

Considered close to BRS president and then chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, he was made Speaker after BRS retained power in 2018.

The veteran leader had served as a minister twice in Telugu Desam Party (TDP) governments in united Andhra Pradesh.

In 2011, he quit TDP to join TRS (now BRS) in support of the demand for statehood to Telangana. He was re-elected from Banswada constituency in the by-election the same year.

In the 2023 election, Srinivas Reddy won the Banswada seat for a fifth consecutive term. He was earlier elected from the same constituency on a TDP ticket in 1994 and 1999.

Srinivas Reddy is the third senior leader to quit BRS after Rajya Sabha member K. Kesava Rao and former Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari.

He is the fourth BRS MLA to defect to Congress after the latter stormed to power in December 2023.

BRS had won 39 seats in the 119-member Assembly. Its strength has now come down to 34 as it also lost the recent Secunderabad Cantonment by-election to the ruling party.

Srinivas Reddy is the first MLA to switch loyalties after BRS suffered a humiliating defeat in last month's Lok Sabha polls. The party drew a blank.



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