In a setback to the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), Telangana’s former Deputy Chief Minister T Rajaiah resigned from the party on Saturday, February 3. The former MLA announced that he has resigned from the primary membership of the party. Rajaiah is likely to join the Congress, sources said.
Rajaiah is the first key leader to quit the BRS after it lost power to the Congress in the state in the recent Assembly elections. The setback came months before the Lok Sabha elections. Rajaiah was reportedly unhappy ever since the BRS leadership denied him a party ticket to contest from Ghanpur (Station) constituency in Jangaon district.
The BRS had fielded Rajaiah’s rival Kadiyam Srihari, also a former Deputy CM. To pacify Rajaiah, BRS President and then Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had appointed him as the Chairman of the Rythu Bandhu Samithi, but with BRS losing power, his joy was short-lived.
As Srihari won the seat despite Congress wave sweeping the state, Rajaiah felt further isolated in the party. Rajaiah expressed his dissatisfaction with the current situation in the BRS and stated that he was marginalised in the party.
Rajaiah did not spell out his future plans, but his praise for the Congress indicates that he will soon join the grand old party soon. He recalled that he was in the Congress for 15 years and as a member of the Congress Forum for Telangana, he had met Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to seek separate statehood for Telangana.
Rajaiah was first elected from the Ghanpur (Station) Assembly seat in 2009. Since then, he had been representing the seat. After the formation of Telangana in 2014, he became one of the two Deputy CMs and was allotted the health portfolio. However, KCR dropped Rajaiah from the Cabinet in 2015 following allegations of corruption in the health department. KCR again fielded him from the same constituency in 2018, and though he retained the seat, he was not inducted into the Cabinet. After KCR decided to field Srihari in the 2023 elections, Rajaiah had broken down in front of his supporters.