As many as 35 BRS leaders, including former MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy and ex-minister Telangana government Jupally Krishna Rao, joined the Congress and met the party's top leadership in New Delhi on Monday.
The Bharat Rashtra Samithi leaders formally joined the Congress in the presence of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi. Party general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal and Congress chief of its Telangana unit A Revanth Reddy were also present at the meeting.
After meeting the Congress top brass, the BRS leaders announced at a press conference that they are joining the Congress. They will later address a public rally in Khammam, Telangana expected to be held in the first week of July with the likely presence of AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi.
While Reddy is a former Lok Sabha MP from Khammam, Krishna Rao is a former Andhra Pradesh and Telangana minister and has been an MLA five times.
Later, in a tweet, the Congress wrote, "Winds of change are sweeping through Telangana. In a big boost to the Congress party's prospects, more and more people are aligning with us to take the message of love and prosperity forward."
"Today, senior leaders from Telangana joined the Congress party in the presence of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, General Secy (Org.) K C Venugopal, AICC Telangana Incharge Manikrao Thakre, Telangana PCC President Vevanth Reddy, and other senior leaders at AICC HQ, New Delhi," the party said.
"This winds of change started with 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', the effect of which you saw in Karnataka. Today, many important leaders of Telangana are joining the Congress party and all of them have held long talks after meeting top leaders of the party," said AICC leader Pawan Khera at a press conference.
"Many important leaders of Telangana joined our party today. Together we will tell the people of Telangana how BJP and BRS are cheating them. I thank all these senior leaders from the bottom of my heart," Telangana Congress chief A Revanth Reddy said.
The development comes ahead of Assembly elections in the state later this year. The Congress is seeking to wrest power from the BRS, which has been in power for the last almost a decade in Telangana.
Among the other leaders who joined the Congress include six-time former MLA Gurnath Reddy, ex-MLA and Zila Parishad Chairman Koram Kanakaiah, former MLA Payam Venkateshwarlu, District Cooperative Central Bank (DCCB) ex-chairman Muvament Vijaya Baby, sitting DCCB Chairman Thulluri Bramhaiah, ex-chairman of SC Corporation Pidamarthi Ravi, Markfed state Vice Chairperson Borra Rajshekhar and Municipal Chairperson, Warya and Mandal Praja Parishad Chairman S. Jaipal, and other senior BRS leaders.