Hyderabad: Former Assembly Speaker and senior Congress leader KR Suresh Reddy on Wednesday said he was leaving behind a party that has been around for three generations and was stuck in the past and joining a party of the future. He was addressing a large gathering of people from Nizambad district and parts of the city at Telangana Bhavan where he formally joined the Telangana Rashtra Samithi in the presence of several Ministers and TRS leaders.
“I am joining the TRS which is the party of the future. When the Chief Minister (K Chandrashekhar Rao) asked me to join the party and work with it to take Telangana further ahead in development and welfare, I agreed. I will act as a link between the people and the government and help it make Telangana even better,” he said.
Suresh Reddy said: “We achieved Telangana after great sacrifices and the development in the past four and a half years has been impressive. Be it irrigation projects or welfare programmes or administrative changes needed such as creation of smaller districts, many steps have been taken which cannot be undermined.”
Welcoming Suresh Reddy to the party fold, IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao said the people of Telangana State have a golden opportunity to teach a fitting lesson to Congress and the TDP in a single stroke in the coming elections. He was commenting on what he called an “unholy and reprehensible alliance” of the two opposition parties joining hands in the State to face the elections.
Suresh Reddy, commenting on the Congress-TDP alliance, said this was like the make believe professional wrestling fights one sees on television channels. “There is no reality in those fights just as the two parties joining are not for the welfare of people but for their own benefit,” he said, adding that on the other hand there was the TRS which was running hard like a racehorse with the only target of reaching its goal of overall development of the State.
And under Rama Rao as the IT Minister, Hyderabad had made rapid progress as an investment destination and information technology major, he said, adding that the city had developed and was ready to attract more investments.
He also handed over to TRS secretary general K Keshav Rao a copy of a report on utilization of Godavari waters that was authored way back in 1998 when he was the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of the then Legislative Assembly. He also handed over a report on turning Nizamabad district into a turmeric growing centre and making it profitable for farmers with a request that these two issues be included in the TRS party manifesto.
Finance Minister Etala Rajender said many TRS MLAs “grew under Suresh Reddy’s guidance when he was the Speaker.” He always gave moral support to our arguments on the need for a separate Telangana, and we were just seven party MLAs then, he said. “The party has gained a very experienced leader in him,” he said.
Nizamabad MP K Kavitha, welcoming Suresh Reddy into the TRS fold, said the party, along with him, will ensure that it will repeat its 2014 performance of winning all nine Assembly seats in erstwhile Nizamabad district.
Keshav Rao said he had known Suresh Reddy for several decades and he was one of the best Assembly Speakers the country has ever seen. “He is joining us today but his association for the cause of Telangana has been for a long time. We thank him for his service,” he said.
Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy said Suresh Reddy’s joining the TRS despite being a key leader of the Congress party, indicates that KCR’s leadership was the best in the country.
Among the others who spoke were Congress in charge for Uppal constituency Bandari Lakshma Reddy, former MLA and Congress leader from Karimnagar district Koduri Satyanarayana Goud, agriculture market committee chairman Akarapu Bhaskar Reddy and several division level leaders from Uppal constituency, Nizamabad and Karimnagar districts.