Former Rajya Sabha member from Telangana, Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu on Thursday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in New Delhi in the presence of Union Minister J P Nadda.
Bhaskar, who had served in the Congress for 25 years, resigned from the primary membership of the party on March 22. He was associated with the agitation for separate Telangana statehood and was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2012. The senior leader was upset with the Congress as he was denied ticket from Palakurthy constituency in Warrangal district during the Assembly polls in 2018.
The Congress had fielded Janga Raghava Reddy in the constituency, who lost to Errabelli Dayakar Rao of the TRS. Dayakar Rao was later made the Minister for Panchayat Raj.
Rapolu is the latest in a series of senior leaders who have jumped ship from the Congress to the BJP. Earlier this week, Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, a former member of the Telangana Legislative Council, resigned from the Congress and joined the BJP in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In his resignation letter sent to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Sudhakar Reddy voiced his displeasure over the functioning of state leaders. He alleged that those with money power were given tickets to contest the elections while hardworking party leaders were ignored.
In the run-up to the polls, former minister D K Aruna switched loyalties from the Congress to the BJP and was announced as the party‚Äôs candidate from the Mahabubnagar Lok Sabha seat.
Outgoing Mahbubnagar MP, A P Jithender Reddy from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had also recently joined the BJP after he was denied a ticket.
Telangana will vote in a single phase for all 17 Lok Sabha seats on April 11. Results will be declared on May 23. The TRS is eyeing 16 seats and has left one for its ally, AIMIM chief and incumbent Hyderabad MP, Asaduddin Owaisi.