Hyderabad: The Congress party in Telangana has suffered a severe blow and embarrassment, when the wife of the party’s manifesto committee chairman, Damodar Rajanarasimha, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday. Padmini Reddy formally joined the saffron party at the state office, in the presence of state party president K Lakshman and others.
Rajanarasimha is a key Congress leader and a former deputy chief minister. His wife’s quitting the party to join BJP is being seen as a psychological setback for the party.
According to sources, controversial religious leader Swami Paripoornananda played an important role in Padmini’s decision, as she is reportedly a devoted follower of the Sree Peetham head. Paripoornananda had met the BJP President Amit Shah and told him that many of his disciples and important figures were easy to join the BJP. Padmini Reddy figured in the list he had given to Shah. She joined the BJP a day after Shah’s visit to Hyderabad.
“I am an admirer of Narendara Modi. I have joined BJP earnestly to support the Modi government’s welfare schemes,” Padmini told reporters. She said if party gives her a ticket, she will win from Sangareddy.
Sources say Padmini decided to join the BJP after Congress decided that only one member of a family will be given a party ticket. While Rajanarasimha was assured of a ticket from his old constituency Andole, his wife’s application from Sangareddy was rejected. Now, she is likely to contest on the BJP’s ticket.