Telangana Congress leader’s wife joins BJP, withdraws later

Hyderabad: Social worker Padmini Reddy, wife of senior Congress leader C Damodar Rajanarasimha, joined the BJP here Thursday but withdrew her decision within hours, saying she was moved by the reaction of Congress workers who were ‘upset.’

She said the party workers were upset over her joining the BJP and hence she decided to withdraw her decision. “I did not expect this reaction… I am not able to see their (Congress workers) pain. So, I am withdrawing (her decision),” she told reporters Thursday night.

Her husband Rajanarasimha was the deputy Chief Minister in undivided Andhra Pradesh when N Kiran Kumar Reddy was Chief Minister. BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao said in a statement that Padmini Reddy joined the party on her own and that the party respected both her decisions.

Earlier Thursday, Reddy joined the BJP in the presence of state party president K Laxman, who said she had earned a name for herself with her social work in Medak region and also among women. Laxman said the Modi government appointed a woman, who is married into a Telugu family, as the country’s Defence Minister (Nirmala Sitharaman) and made another woman leader as the Lok Sabha Speaker (Sumitra Mahajan).

Padmini Reddy joined the party as she appreciated the good work done by the NDA government, he said. Her joining the party would strengthen the BJP, he said.

Alleging that the TRS government did not distribute Rs 2,800 crore loans to a single woman Self-Help Group (SHG) under a low-interest scheme, Laxman said his party, if elected to power, would undertake a loan waiver for SHGs. Damodar Rajanarasimha heads the state Congress manifesto committee for the 7 December assembly elections in the state.