In a setback to the Congress ahead of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, party leader and former city Mayor Banda Karthika Reddy on Wednesday joined the BJP, even as major parties announced the names of their candidates for the poll. Karthika Reddy, who served as Mayor before the formation of Telangana, joined BJP in the presence of the party's National General Secretary Bhupender Yadav.
Welcoming Karthika Reddy and others into the party fold, Yadav said BJP would like to provide a corruption-free administration in the GHMC and later in Telangana. Karthika Reddyâ€™s husband Chandra Reddy also joined the BJP.
Karthika was the first woman to be Mayor since the formation of Greater Hyderabad. She had held the position for two years (2009-11), in a Congress-AIMIM alliance. Speaking to reporters after joining the BJP, Karthika called it a political turning point in her life. She said that since she became Mayor in 2009, on two occasions, the Congress party had failed to fulfil their promises to her on giving her a party ticket. â€śI have faith that there will be no injustice here (in the BJP),â€ť she said. According to several reports, the former Mayor has asked the BJP for a ticket to contest from the Secunderabad Assembly constituency in 2023.
Karthika said that she will not be contesting in the GHMC elections, but will campaign extensively for the BJP. â€śThe BJP is eager to change the name of the city from Hyderabad to Bhagyanagaram. We will ensure this is done. By 2023, the BJP party flag will fly atop the Golconda fort,â€ť she said.
Meanwhile, the ruling TRS released its first list of 105 candidates for the GHMC polls. The opposition Congress announced names of candidates for 45 wards, while TDP said it would release its first list on Thursday.
The GHMC polls will be held on December 1, and counting of votes will be taken up on December 4. The ruling TRS had won the last GHMC elections, bagging 99 of the total 150 wards.