Komatireddy brothers meet Shah, send jitters in Congress

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HYDERABAD: The powerful Komatireddy brothers from Nalgonda district, Venkat Reddy and younger sibling Rajgopal Reddy, on Friday sent the Congress into a tizzy after they met with Union home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi. Though the two met with Shah separately, and for different purposes according to them, the meetings assumed serious political significance as the brothers are known to have a firm grip on politics in Nalgonda district.

More than Rajgopal Reddy’s meeting with Shah, it was Venkat Reddy’s meeting that left the Congress guessing about the Komatireddys moves. Rajgopal Reddy had, after meeting with Shah, said he discussed his joining the BJP along with many of his supporters in Shah’s presence at a public meeting that will be held as part of the Praja Sangrama Yatra of state BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar.

Rajgopal Reddy, speaking to media persons after meeting with Shah, also narrated how the TRS had courted him for four years from 2014 to 2018, with emissaries from Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and minister K.T. Rama Rao reaching out to him with the promise of a Cabinet berth.

He said he would work hard under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president J.P. Nadda, and Shah to ensure the undemocratic and family rule of the TRS ended. “The byelection in Munugode is not about parties or candidates. It is about bringing back democratic governance in Telangana and putting an end to family rule,” he said.

Addressing the media separately after his meeting with Shah, which preceded the one with Rajgopal Reddy, Venkat Reddy said his meeting was not about politics but about seeking Central aid, assistance for the flood- and rain-hit farmers and people. Venkat Reddy said he had requested Shah to see the flood damage to the state adding that he shared information on how the recent floods and rains destroyed crops.

Though Venkat Reddy repeatedly said he did not discuss politics with Shah and declared that he would be with the Congress till his very end, the meeting coming on the same day his younger brother met with the Union home minister, set some alarm bells ringing in the Congress. Venkat Reddy said there was no question of his leaving the Congress after serving the party for decades, and the people of Nalgonda under its flag.

Venkat Reddy said he was a star campaigner for the Congress and slammed state party president A. Revanth Reddy for organising a meeting on Friday in Munugode without informing him. He took the TPCC chief to task over admitting Telangana Inti Party leader Cheruku Sudhakar into the Congress fold without as much as informing him. Venkat Reddy said Revanth Reddy was pushing away every Congress leader who has been with the party for decades and believes in the party’s principles. “I will take this up with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Revanth Reddy is hatching conspiracies to get me out of the Congress,” he said.

Venkat Reddy’s outburst was expected as he was insulted repeatedly by the TPCC president, Congress sources said. What he will do next is his decision, but Venkat Reddy, the face of the party in Nalgonda district for decades, he is very hurt, the sources said, adding that the outcome, whatever that might be, does not bode well for the party.

Adding to the tension, Rajgopal Reddy, during his press meet, said it was time for his elder brother to “take a good decision. Whatever decision that he will take will be for the welfare of people of Nalgonda and not out of selfish reasons.”

He added: “We never sold ourselves for positions or posts. Revanth Reddy is trying to defame us. Revanth is a petty thief and his biggest mistake was using unparliamentary language against the Komatireddy brothers. If he shows proof that I sold myself out to the BJP, then I will leave politics, if not Revanth should do so,” he said.

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