Alleging that he had been humiliated several times by the TDP’s local cadre, the former Andhra Minister Ravela Kishore Babu quit the TDP and resigned as legislator.

 TDP leader Ravela Kishore Babu quits party citing caste bias joins Jana SenaImage: By arrangement
news Politics Saturday, December 01, 2018 - 14:30

Even as Andhra Chief Minister and TDP President Chandrababu Naidu is busy campaigning in Telangana, MLA and former Minister Ravela Kishore Babu simultaneously resigned from party and as legislator. Kishore Babu has now joined actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party.

The setback for the TDP comes even as Andhra is slated to go to polls in six months’ time. Ravela Kishore Babu belongs to the Dalit (Madiga) community and was elected from Prathipadu assembly constituency in the 2014 Assembly Elections. He went on to became Social Welfare Minister in Chandrababu's cabinet.

Kishore Babu was an Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer before joining the TDP before the 2014 elections. Things were going smoothly for Kishore Babu until the cabinet expansion in March 2017, when he was ousted. The Social Welfare portfolio was bagged by Nakka Anand Babu.   

He alleged that the he has been humiliated several times by the party’s local cadres for being a Dalit. Speaking to local media on Saturday before joining Jana Sena, Kishore Babu said that though CM Naidu had respected and given him a seat,  leaders in the party level have discriminated against him as he his Dalit. Stating that the reason behind leaving the party is caste discrimination he said, "I'm exhausted with all the belittling, group politics, discrimination against Dalits and Dalit leaders, it’s humiliating at every step."

The former minister further alleged that there has been no action taken by either TDP or government against the same party people for humiliating him in a public ceremony. According to reports several TDP cadre in Mutluru of Vatticherukuru mandal, which falls under his constituency allegedly humiliated him when he went to attend the Ganesh idol immersion ceremony. TDP workers allegedly refused to let him go near the Ganesh idol, while some even threw sand at the leader. Following this, he went to the National SC Commission over the humiliation that he faced.

Kishore Babu said that he is joining the Jana Sena after Pawan Kalyan's commitment towards the betterment of the Dalits, social justice and the promise to establish an equal society, where the rights of the downtrodden are respected.

Meanwhile, few TDP leaders have called Kishore Babu’s decision as one taken in haste. His defection has also given room to speculation over more TDP leaders jumping ship ahead of the 2019 Assembly polls.

 
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