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Jagan given task to admit Ponguleti in T'gana BJP?

Jagan given task to admit Ponguleti in T'gana BJP?

Speculations are rife in Telangana BJP circles that the BJP's national leadership has tasked YSRCP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy with admitting former BRS leader and former MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy into the BJP in Telangana.

It is well-known in political circles that Ponguleti is a close aide of Jagan. In fact, Ponguleti won the Khammam Lok Sabha seat on a YSRCP ticket in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

However, Ponguleti quit the YSRCP to join BRS in May 2016, and it is widely believed that Jagan himself facilitated Ponguleti's admission into BRS at that time, as Jagan had decided to wind up the YSRCP in Telangana and focus entirely on Andhra Pradesh politics to become the CM in the 2019 Assembly polls.

However, TRS supremo KCR and IT minister K T Rama Rao, who made several promises to Ponguleti while bringing him into BRS, later betrayed him.

KCR denied Ponguleti the opportunity to contest the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, despite him being a sitting MP. Instead, KCR preferred Nama Nageshwar Rao for the Khammam Lok Sabha seat in 2019, who had joined from TDP just before the polls.

Jagan made several requests to KCR to give a ticket to Ponguleti in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, but KCR simply ignored him. This was publicly admitted by Ponguleti recently.

Ponguleti has been upset with KCR and KTR since the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. They pacified him by promising either a Rajya Sabha MP seat or an MLC position, but they failed to fulfill this later.

Having waited patiently since then, Ponguleti recently revolted against KCR and KTR. He mobilized disgruntled leaders in BRS such as Jupally Krishna Rao, Pidamarthi Ravi, etc., and started making adverse comments against KCR and BRS.

Angered by this, KCR dismissed Ponguleti and Jupally from BRS last month in April. Since then, Ponguleti has been approached by leaders from the BJP and Congress.

BJP senior leader Etala Rajender has already met Ponguleti twice and invited him to join the BJP. However, Ponguleti is reportedly unwilling to join the BJP, stating that the BJP has no capacity to defeat BRS in the Telangana Assembly polls. He reportedly wants to join the Congress.

At this stage, the BRS national leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP National President JP Nadda, have reportedly approached Jagan and assigned him the responsibility of convincing Ponguleti to join the BJP.

They hope that his entry will turn the tide in favor of the BJP in Khammam district and have an impact on other districts in Telangana.

It is understood that Jagan has asked Ponguleti to join the BJP. Jagan is said to have even promised a Rajya Sabha seat under the AP quota to Ponguleti if he fails to win elections on a BJP ticket in Telangana.

It remains to be seen how successful Jagan and the BJP will be in convincing Ponguleti to join the BJP.


Tags: Telangana Andhra Pradesh Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy CM Jagan