In a jolt to TRS, actor-turned-politician P. Babu Mohan on Saturday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after he was denied a ticket to contest the upcoming Telangana Assembly elections.
The former Andhra Pradesh minister formally joined the BJP in the presence of party's national president Amit Shah in New Delhi. BJP's Telangana unit president K. Laxman and other leaders were also present.
Babu Mohan's did not figure in the list of 105 candidates announced by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president and caretaker Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao after dissolving the state Legislative Assembly on September 6.
Ever since he was denied a ticket, Babu Mohan had distanced himself from TRS. BJP is likely to field him from Andole in the coming elections.
In 2014, Babu Mohan was elected on TRS ticket from Andole constituency in Medak district. This time the TRS has announced journalist Kranti Kiran as its candidate from this constituency.
The veteran actor, known for comedy roles in Telugu films, entered politics by joining TDP in the 1990s. He was first elected from Andole in 1998 by-elections and retained the seat in 1999.
He served as Minister for Labour in Chandrababu Naidu's cabinet in then unified Andhra Pradesh.
He lost the election from the same constituency in 2004 and 2009. In 2014, he quit TDP to join TRS, where he managed to get himself re-elected.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao dissolved the state Assembly on September 6 to pave way for early elections. The elections are likely to be held in November or December, with the Election Commission stating that the Model Code of Conduct was already in place in the state.
While the TRS has released its list of candidates, opposition parties in the state including the TDP, Congress, TJS and CPI have formed a grand alliance.