Political Pickle

The Telangana queue at Amit Shah’s door

The photo-op of G Vivek, former Lok Sabha MP from Pedapalli with BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday set tongues wagging that another former Congress-cum-TRS wicket is about to fall to the BJP. In 2013, Vivek had left the Congress to join the TRS but returned to the Congress a year later. After the TRS came to power, he switched sides again. But with K Chandrasekhar Rao refusing him a ticket in the Lok Sabha polls, Vivek is looking to press the reset button on his political career. 

Sources close to Vivek told Filter Kaapi that he is not looking to do things in a hurry. A media baron with a Telugu newspaper and news channel that is top of the TRP pile, Vivek wants to get under the CM’s skin by campaigning against his decision to demolish a heritage structure Errum Manzil and the present Secretariat complex. He submitted a memorandum to Shah urging him to stop the Telangana CM from indulging in waste of public money. 
But those in the BJP admit to issues with Vivek’s admission. 

“Vivek is in touch with us. But he is expecting too much. Since he was an MP earlier, he wants to be Working president of the BJP in Telangana. His issue is that KCR made him Advisor on Inter-State issues but did not give him any work and importance. He felt humiliated by the CM. He is therefore wary and wants to guard against similar treatment,” says a senior BJP leader who is privy to the discussions.  

Vivek was in the running to become one of the many Working Presidents of the Telangana Congress if he had moved out of TRS last year. But he stuck on in the hope that he would be allotted the Pedapalli ticket by KCR. 

Another Congress leader on the horns of a similar dilemma is MLA Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy. He had approached the BJP before the assembly elections, claiming he would exit the Congress with close to 60 leaders at different levels. But he backed out fearing the BJP and the TRS will finally have an understanding. 

Now the Congress MLA from Munugode has made overtures to the BJP again but an audio recording which allegedly contained his voice went viral. That voice spoke about how Reddy will be the CM face of the BJP in Telangana and that did not go down well with the BJP leadership. 
Reddy’s another problem is that if he exits the Congress, he will attract the provisions of the anti-defection law. So he will wait till the party expels him. 

“Our door is not shut on Reddy or any other leader. But anyone’s admission into the BJP has to be unconditional,” says a BJP leader from Telangana.  Rajgopal Reddy’s brother Komatireddy Venkat Reddy is a Congress MP.

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