Ponguleti plans to jump ship
- The former MP can soon quit the BRS party and join some other party
- BJP looks the most obvious choice for the former YSRC leader
Khammam: The contentious comments made by senior BRS leader and former MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy going against party lines has created controversy and laid the political equation in the district wide open for various permutations and combinations in the next poll.
The remarks made by Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy during the 'Athmeeya Sammelanam' with his followers on New Year Day at his camp office in the city gave many signs and indicated that he is ready to quit the BRS party, has not only created several major challenges for the BRS party in the district but has also given credence to several rumours making rounds that the former MP is planning to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the future.
Ponguleti had announced that his followers will contest in all Assembly constituencies in the district in the upcoming Assembly elections. He also said that everyone knows how the party has honoured him in the past and how the party is honouring him in the present. Both these comments give out several indications that the senior leader is planning to quit the party.
Talking to The Hans India, BRS party leader K Srinivas Rao said, the Chief Minister had already announced that sitting MLA's will be given a chance again in the upcoming Assembly elections. However, Ponguleti claims that his followers will contest the State elections from the district on a BRS party ticket. How is it possible, if the party gives ticket to sitting MLAs in the district, he quizzed?
With the current political scenario in the district, chances are high that Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy will soon join another party, and BJP seems to be the most obvious choice at the moment. As Congress has many candidates in all ten constituencies in the district, Srinivas said.
Ponguleti's remarks on how the party has honoured him in the past is also seen as a gibe at the party. As the senior leader has been sidelined by the party for a few years now. The party has not invited him in any major events. Ponguleti was not even invited on the event for the launch of BRS party and also for the opening of Central party office at Delhi, Srinivas said. Party president KCR has not given priority to Ponguleti in last few years and had also denied the party ticket to the sitting MP at Khammam in 2018 elections.
Ponguleti became an MP with YSR party in 2014 elections, and later joined and and merged his party with the TRS (BRS) party. The BRS party, at that time, gave place to Nama Nageswara Rao, who also joined newly to BRS party. This decision angered Ponguleti's followers. Ponguleti had maintained silence over the issue for a year and distanced himself from all party activities. He later participated in various private programme and called up on party workers and gave financial aid to them who were pained in various incidents. Ponguleti also plans to organise a padayatra in the ten constituencies in the district.
On the other hand, another senior leader and former Minister Tummala Nageswara Rao is also on his way out of the BRS party and is ready to quit any time soon. He has also been having a difficult relation with the party for last four years, since his defeat in 2018 elections. He had said that he will contest from Palair constituency in coming polls.
The Kamma community leaders and his followers are also expected to join TDP party for proving his strength in coming polls in the district.
However, the decision by both senior leaders has turned up the heat in the district politics and is likely to may impact the upcoming polls.