HYDERABAD: Five Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) legislators from the city outskirts on Monday sprang a surprise by raising a banner of revolt against labour minister and a co-party legislator from Medchal-Malkajgiri district Ch. Malla Reddy.
The ganging up of the legislators, though openly projected as a turf war with the minister, turned curious in the backdrop of an internal survey by the party placing their constituencies in the “keen contest” category and suggesting improvement with a change of guard.
In another coincidence, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) recorded the statement of MLA Pilot Rohit Reddy in the presence of a magistrate in the poachgate case leaving scope for the opposition BJP to wonder if the ruling party is suspicious of the MLA retracting from his earlier stand. Rohit represents Parigi, which also falls in the “keen contest” category as per the survey.
Sources close to the BRS leadership told Deccan Chronicle that the party got a survey done to identify the keenly contested seats where the margin between the sitting MLA and opposition parties is less than two per cent.
The situation is worrisome in constituencies falling in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits in particular Malkajgiri, Quthbullapur and Serilingampally besides neighbouring areas like Tandur and Maheshwaram.
Sources said the leadership was confident of managing 40-45 seats in south Telangana out of 87 seats, including those falling in the keen contest category, while it can secure the remaining numbers to cross the magical figure by winning half of the seats in north Telangana. “Any shortfall could be made up with the help of seven seats that are sure to fall in the kitty of Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM),” sources pointed out.
The BRS leadership was under pressure from former minister P. Mahender Reddy to decide on the Parigi candidature. Quoting the same survey, he had been claiming that the party should accommodate him if it is serious about winning the seat. He even threatened to switch over to the Congress in the event of further delay in finalising the candidature.
Meanwhile, Rohit Reddy is said to have been making best use of the special fund of Rs. 100 crore announced by the Chief Minister as a reward for his loyalty in the poachgate case to lure local leaders from Mahender’s camp.
Rohit has been trying to weaken Mahender’s camp by promising local leaders with civil works to be taken up with the special fund.
Significantly, Malkajgiri MLA M. Hanumantha Rao reminded Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and working president K. T. Rama Rao that the party would suffer if the aspirations of the local leaders were not met.
When contacted, Qutbullapur MLA K. P. Vivenkananda dismissed “poor performance” as reason stating that the five legislators together had secured wind of 36 corporators in the last GHMC polls. “Our grouse is against minister only,” he pointed out.
Sources said Hanumantha Rao, who led the rebellion of five legislators, met a powerful central leader of the BJP sometime ago. But, sources close to Hanumantha Rao said he had informed the Chief Minister of his meeting with the BJP central leadership.
Incidentally, even as the meeting by the rebels were underway, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is said have left for Delhi.