Senior politician and former minister Konda Surekha joined the Congress party along with her husband, MLC Konda Murali, in New Delhi on Wednesday. This comes days after the four-time MLA from Warangal East constituency threatened to quit the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and contest independently, after caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had denied her a ticket.
Surekha joined the Congress after meeting with party chief Rahul Gandhi along with senior Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) leaders like N Uttam Kumar Reddy and Ponnala Lakshmaiah. Speaking to the media, Surekha said, "From when Telangana came into being, the TRS has put aside the problems of the people and has only been focused on the welfare of the Chief Minister's family. They are sidelining leaders who have worked on the ground for years.”
Surekha was first elected as an MLA in 1999 on a Congress ticket and held important posts within the party over the years. She was also the Women and Child Welfare Minister during the tenure of late YS Rajasekhara Reddy.
She resigned the Congress in 2011 after YSR's son YS Jaganmohan Reddy was not made the Chief Minister and resigned from the YSRCP in 2013, citing 'ill treatment' from leaders within the party.
Speaking about re-joining Congress after several years, Surekha said, "We began our political journey here and we have good ties with the Gandhi family, so we have decided to return to the Congress."
When asked if she was promised a ticket, Surekha said that they will stand by whatever the Congress party decides.
On Tuesday, addressing reporters in Hyderabad, Surekha accused KCR of sidelining caretaker Minister T Harish Rao and leaders who are close to him. They also accused KCR of actively working to ensure that it was his son, KT Rama Rao, who would succeed him as the Chief Minister of the state.
"They know we are close to Harish Rao. It is openly there for everyone to see. Just look at the leaders who got the ticket and those who didn't," Surekha said.
However, Surekha’s comments did not go down too well with KTR, who was asked for a response on the sidelines of another event.
"People who are leaving the party will obviously say such things. As long as they're in the party, we are good people. When they are leaving, they have to throw a few stones and go, so they are doing it. It is common and not something that we should take seriously. The people will soon show how much support is there with the TRS and how much is there with opposition parties," KTR told reporters on Tuesday.