In an unexpected development, Bhongir Member of Parliament and senior Congress leader Komatireddy Venkat Reddy met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi further fuelling the speculation that he would soon follow his brother Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy, who resigned from the Congress and decided to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
After the meeting, Mr. Reddy, however, denied that his meeting was related to his leaving the Congress but he had sought flood relief funds to the tune of ₹1400 crore for Telangana. “I have met Mr. Amit Shah to explain the damage due to the floods in Telangana and seek funds,” he claimed.
This meeting, however, reflects the growing wedge between Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president A. Revanth Reddy and Mr. Venkata Reddy which ultimately may lead to the latter’s resignation from the Congress at a later stage though as of now he had made his intentions clear several times that he would remain in the party at any cost.
Mr. Venkat Reddy has a strained relationship with the PCC chief since he was also a contender for the top post. Such was his anger that he charged AICC incharge for Telangana Manickam Tagore with striking a deal worth crores of rupees in submitting a report in favour of Mr. Revanth Reddy. The recent ‘derogatory’ remarks against the Komatireddy brothers by Mr. Revanth Reddy also further added fuel it.
The Bhongir MP also attacked the PCC leadership for admitting Inti Party president Cheruku Sudhakar into Congress without his knowledge. “How can he be admitted despite his working against me in the last elections,” he said. He also claimed that the Congress show at Munugode on Friday was held without his knowledge though he is the local MP.
Sources said family pressure is mounting on Mr. Venkata Reddy to support his brother rather than the Congress in the bypoll likely to be held after Mr. Rajgopal Reddy submits his resignation as the Legislator. The family is known as ‘Komatireddy brothers’ with a considerable following in Nalgonda district particularly, and certain pockets of Telangana. Sources close to the family said Mr. Venkata Reddy may not resign from Congress immediately but extend support to his brother asking them to vote as per their conscience.
“Indira Gandhi herself had appealed to the Congress MPs and MLAs to vote as per their conscience despite Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy being the official party candidate in the 1969 Presidential elections. She ensured the win of Opposition candidate V. V. Giri with that strategy,” a senior leader associated with Mr. Venkat Reddy said. He would prefer to use the same weapon to ensure his brother’s win in Munugode whenever the bypoll comes.