Former Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender, who was ousted from the state cabinet by Prime Minister Chandrasekhar Rao on May 1 following allegations of land grabbing, joined the Baratiya Janata Party on Monday.
Welcoming the former BJP minister, trade union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Rajender’s entry would further strengthen the party in Telangana. Pradhan said that after Karnataka, Telangana will soon become a BJP stronghold in the South.
Rajender was officially awarded the first BJP membership by Pradhan in New Delhi. Telangana BJP in charge of Telangana affairs Tarun Chugh, Home Affairs Minister G G Kishan Reddy and other Telangana party leaders were present at the event.
Along with Rajender, former Telangana MP Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MP Ramesh Rathod, former TRS MP Enugu Ravinder Reddy, former Karimnagar zilla regional chairperson Thula Uma, union leader P Ashwathama Reddy and Osmania University student leaders also joined OsinaJP University.
Rajender, a prominent OBC leader who represented the Huzurabad conference north of Telangana, resigned from TRS on June 4 and a member of the conference on Saturday. His resignation from the meeting was accepted and the Huzurabad seat was immediately announced.
Acknowledging the leadership of the BJP, Rajender said he would make every effort to expand BJP measures throughout Telangana and South India as a whole. In the coming days, there will be a shift in the number of leaders from TRS to BJP, he said.
Originally from the Leftist background, Rajender was an active leader of the Progressive Democratic Students’ Union (PDSU), a student wing of the CPI (Marxist-Leninist) New Democracy, a fragmented Naxalites faction, in the early 80s.
In 2003, he joined TRS founded by K Chandrasekhar Rao and actively participated in a separate Telangana organization. He became a member of the Legislature for the first time in 2004 from the Kamalapur convention center in Karimnagar district and represented it twice before the region was transformed into Huzurabad. He continued to represent the same until the 2018 elections.
While KCR is a member of parliament, the Rajender was made the TRS junior leader at the provincial assembly. He was the first finance minister in Telangana province when it was formed in 2014. In the second phase, he was given a medical and health portfolio that he held until he was recently fired.
“My DNA belongs to the world. My agenda is now either incorrect or left-handed. My intention is to remove Telangana from the KCR dictatorship and monarchy, ”said Rajender after resigning from the meeting.
Meanwhile, Senior TRS leader and state property minister Gangula Kamalakar said Rajender’s revolt against the BJP would never affect the party.
Kamalakar who is the party’s regional affairs officer said that TRS is very powerful in Huzurabad and will win hands down in by-elections. We will improve the district by 100 times more than what the Rajender has done all these years.
Unfortunately the Rajender chose to criticize the KCR, which had given him political life, added the minister.
Senior journalist and political analyst Sangem Ramakrishna said there may not be an immediate impact on Rajender’s departure from TRS, which has been heavily imposed on Telangana.
He said that however, in the long run, it could be a meeting place for the dissatisfied with the TRS and OBC parties in the province. It will strengthen the BJP north of Telangana.