Kiran Kumar Reddy, the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, has joined the BJP. Reddy, the last chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh before the establishment of Telangana state in 2014, resigned from the Congress in March this year due to disagreements with the party's leadership. He had also founded his own party, the Jai Samaikyandhra Party, in 2014 to fight the state's bifurcation, but it had no electoral impact.
"I had never imagined that I'll have to leave Congress...There is a saying- 'My king is very intelligent, he doesn't think on his own, doesn't listens to anyone's advice', "says former Congress leader Kiran Kumar Reddy on joining BJP in Delhi.
Joins BJP ahead of elections
Reddy's decision to join the BJP comes ahead of the assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh next year, which will pit the incumbent YSR Congress against the main opposition Telugu Desam Party. Reddy is likely to boost the BJP's presence in Rayalaseema, where he is from and wields tremendous power. He is also likely to be promoted as a possible chief ministerial candidate by the BJP, which is attempting to establish itself as a third option in the state.
Prasise for PM Modi
As he was welcomed into the BJP by senior leaders at the party's headquarters in New Delhi, Reddy hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reddy said he "never imagined" leaving the Congress after his family's six-decade involvement with the party.
He hit out at his Congress leadership for its "inability to accept the people's verdict and make course correction". "They believe they are correct and all others, including the people of India, are wrong," he said.