Congress leader Revanth Reddy

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An event at the Congress headquarters to introduce Telangana lawmaker Revanth Reddy’s joining the Congress party virtually turned into a show of strength.

Mr. Reddy, who was the working president of the TDP in Telangana, joined the Congress soon after meeting the party vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday afternoon.

At the regular press briefing, the Congress also announced that 14 former MLAs, mostly from the TDP, have also joined the party along with Mr. Reddy.

“This is something unique. The BJP is at the Centre and the TRS is in power at Telangana. Yet they have joined our party because they have realized that Congress is the only national alternative,” said R.C. Khuntia, who is the Congress in-charge for the State.

The Congress was decimated in the 2014 Assembly polls of the then newly formed Telangana where State elections were held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls.

Mr. Reddy is expected to add to the Congress’ appeal especially the powerful landing owning and politically dominant caste of Reddys who largely form the support base of the TDP now.

Crediting the Congress president Sonia Gandhi for the creation of Telangana, Mr. Reddy said that she didn’t think of any short-term loss or benefit and fulfilled her commitment.

“In 2014, the party had to suffer a loss, but I am confident that we can turn things around in 2019,” said Mr. Reddy.

Targeting the K. Chandrashekhar Rao government in Telangana, Mr. Reddy said the State government has failed to live up to the expectations of the people.

He said, “This is not the kind of Telangana people had fought for in 1969 or in 2009.”

Claiming that the Telangana came second only to Maharashtra in terms of farmer suicides, he said, “In the past 40 months, more than 3,000 farmers have ended their lives and these are not my figures, but those of the National Crime Records Bureau of the Government of India.”

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