Crisis hit Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhar Rao’s constituency Gajwel, as several local leaders deserted the party and joined the Congress. However, within 10 days, these turncoats returned to the TRS fold, after Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao, a trusted aide and nephew of KCR, successfully engineered a campaign and ably convinced them to rejoin the party.
Former Gajwel Mandal Praja Parishad president Chinna Rajaiah, who had joined the Congress on Sunday, rejoined TRS the following day after Harish Rao visited Rajaiah at his residence and convinced him to return to the party.
Doulapur, TRS president Narayana pulled off a feat similar to Padmini Reddy, wife of former Deputy CM Damodar Raja Narasimha. While Padmini joined the BJP and returned to Congress by evening the same day, Doulapur joined the Congress on Monday morning but rejoined the TRS by evening.
In addition to Rajaih and Narayana, several local leaders such as Kavitha Yadagiri, Gajwel MPP (Mandal Praja Parishad) president Renuka Yadagiri and Brahmanpalli MPTC Manasa Rajamohan Goud defected to the Congress a couple of days ago. Acting swiftly to the crisis that may upset KCR in the coming elections, the TRS could bring back Rajaiah, Narayana and Kavitha Yadagiri.
Another reported masterstroke of Harish Rao was in retaining Gajwel former MLA Thumkunta Narsa Reddy, chairman of Telangana State Road Development Corporation, who hinted at joining the Congress after he met Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief Uttam Kumar Reddy recently, along with his supporters. Speculations were rife that Reddy would go back to the Congress. However, after Harish Rao’s intervention, reportedly, Reddy continues to be in TRS.
Reddy was the MLA of Gajwel till 2014 until KCR overthrew him. After losing power, he joined the TRS party and was chosen as the chairman of Telangana State Road Development Corporation.
In 2014, KCR had won from Gajwel with 86,694 votes, while Vanteru Pratap Reddy, who was then with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) secured 67,303 votes. Narsa Reddy ended up last in the contest with just 34,085 votes.