In a strange turn of events, Padmini Reddy, Congress leader and wife of former Deputy Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh Damodar Rajanarasimha, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday morning. However, she had a sudden change of heart soon after she joined the saffron camp and she returned to the Congress fold by evening. The entire back and forth took place within a span of 10 hours.
On Thursday morning, there was a buzz that the ex-deputy CM’s wife had a meeting with Telangana BJP chief K Laxman. Soon after, the BJP announced at a press conference that Padmini had joined the party. The party chief praised her work for women in the Medak region and said that her entry into the BJP would come as a shot in the arm for the saffron party. Laxman also claimed that Padmini had joined the party as she appreciated the good work done by the NDA government.
Padmini’s exit from the Congress was rumoured to be triggered by the Congress’ apparent unwillingness to give tickets to members of the same family in order to accommodate candidates from parties with which it has an alliance.
However, in a dramatic turn, Padmini had changed her mind by evening and returned to the Congress party. When asked what made her change mind, Padmini said that she has understood the feelings of Congress workers and therefore, she took back her decision. “I am taking my decision back. I have understood the feelings of the Congress party workers. I am now back to the Congress party,” she told reporters Thursday evening.
According to a TOI report, Padmini is likely to contest from either Sanga Reddy or Medak Assembly constituency in Telangana. She has been trying to contest in the Assembly polls from Sanga Reddy seat on Congress ticket. But the party leadership denied her ticket citing their policy of one ticket for each family.
Senior Congress leader and her husband, Damodar Rajanarasimha currently heads the state Congress manifesto committee for the upcoming Assembly elections.
Following Padmini’s return to the Congress, BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao said that Padmini is a well-informed woman and his party respects her decision either way. “Padmini Reddy is an educated and well-informed woman. BJP is a party which respects and believes in women empowerment. When she approached the BJP to join and work for the party, certainly we couldn’t have asked her, to get her husband’s permission for the same. We respect Padmini Reddy’s decision either way. This only exemplifies BJP’s respect for women empowerment,” Rao wrote on Twitter.
Telangana will go to polls in single-phase voting on December 7 and the results will be declared on December 11, the Elections Commission has said. The state government had on September 6 dissolved the state Assembly.