Life has come full circle for Vijayashanthi. The veteran actor and politician, who has been taking potshots at the BJP for nearly two years, has finally gone back to the party which nurtured her as a politician. Vijayashanthi has made it clear that her intention is to bring down the TRS and seek vengeance against party chief and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR). She has stated that the reason for her joining the BJP was the Congress’s failure to fight against KCR.
Vijayashanthi joined the party officially on Monday in the presence of BJP National Secretary Arun Singh, Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay, and Union Minister Kishan Reddy. A day earlier she had met Union Home Minister and former National President of the BJP, Amit Shah.
Addressing the media, Vijayashanthi opened up about the ill-treatment that she allegedly underwent at the hands of KCR and the events that led to her suspension from the TRS party. She alleged that KCR “preplannedly” suspended her from the TRS in 2013, when the Congress had announced the formation of Telangana, and further spread rumours that the actor had quit the party on her own.
The former MP alleged that KCR had systematically eliminated all the leaders who genuinely fought for the Telangana statehood cause so that these leaders wouldn't emerge as a threat to his family. “He conspired and chased away people from the party, who fought for the state selflessly. He remained without an opposition. But, today the BJP has emerged as a party which can teach him a lesson. The party has proved that in the Dubbaka bye-election and the GHMC election,” Vijayashanthi said.
She added that the BJP would form the government in 2023 by dethroning KCR and his family. Speaking about the reason why she merged her Talli Telangana party with TRS, the veteran actor said that during the statehood movement, she was pressured to join the TRS and fight for the common cause.
Vijayashanthi enjoyed a superstar image along with the likes of Megastar Chiranjeevi and other leading stars in Tollywood. In fact, she is among the first few women actors to demand remuneration on par with the male stars.
In 1998, she began her political career with the BJP, and later formed her own party, which fought for the separate Telangana state cause. This party eventually merged with the TRS. After her suspension from the TRS, Vijayashanthi joined the Congress in 2014 and took up the role of Chairperson of Telangana Congress Campaign Committee (TPCC).
Meanwhile, the Congress seems to be in a deep crisis as besides Vijayashanthi, Congress Treasurer Gudur Narayan Reddy has also sent his resignation to the party interim President Sonia Gandhi on Monday. Reddy is also likely to join the BJP. Another Congress leader, Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, is also speculated to join the BJP.
“While Vijayashanthi doesn’t bring anything significant to the table, being a popular film star, she is certainly a crowd-puller. The BJP could use her to attract the crowds and bolster their image. They are using this strategy everywhere including in Andhra Pradesh, where actor Pawan Kalyan is doing this job. This is a new form of winning elections under Modi-Shah, where the BJP is pragmatic in its approach and not just looking for committed party idealogues,” observed political analyst T Lakshminarayana.