Eatala Rajender likely to join BJP next week

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Anti-govt. and consolidation of BCs will help us, say party leaders

Former Health Minister and TRS MLA Eatala Rajendra is in all likelihood expected to join the Bharatiya Janata Party next week in the presence of national party president J.P. Nadda and other top leaders in New Delhi.

Party sources said that the former minister had conveyed his decision to join the saffron party after holding cards close to his chest in the last few days and having discussions with various parties and individuals. The plan is that Mr. Rajender will resign from the TRS and the Legislative Assembly after which he will be escorted to the national capital by Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy for a formal entry.

“Everything is confirmed and he will be our party candidate for the Huzurnagar by-election. We are expecting to do a repeat of Dubbak Assembly constituency here considering his following in the area. The consolidation of the Backward Classes and the anti-government sentiment could propel our party in the forthcoming Assembly elections, if we manage to win though we are aware it is going to be tough,” said senior leaders, not wishing to be identified.

Mr. Nadda was said to have discussed with State party president and Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar at a virtual meeting on Thursday to decide on the strategy as the latter has been in touch with Mr. Rajender. Since the party is busy with the seventh anniversary celebrations of the formation of the NDA government on May 31, the grand entry programme got postponed by a couple of days.

The former minister was being advised by some political personalities that joining the BJP would weaken his fight against the TRS leadership and the Congress too would join in the fray for the byelection but he seemed to have hedged his bets with the ruling party at the Centre.

There has been speculation in some quarters about his being offered a Rajya Sabha seat or even a position in the Central Cabinet with his wife to be considered for the Assembly byelection. However, party sources said there was no question of any Cabinet reshuffle at the Centre considering the government focus on combating the pandemic second wave and in any case there are simply too many claimants for RS seat or for a post in the ministry among the existing leaders.

“Our policy in the last six years is to take in whoever is interested in joining our party anywhere. Secondly, north Telangana has always been politically volatile and this development could help strengthen our party,” they said.

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