Former Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender joined the BJP on Monday in the presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Mr Rajender has already resigned as the Huzurabad MLA and has also relinquished his membership of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
Welcoming him into the party, Mr Pradhan said the BJP would form the government in Telangana after the next assembly elections.
Mr Rajender was a senior leader of the TRS and has held top portfolios such as finance and health in the K Chandrashekar Rao-led successive TRS governments in the state. He was removed from the Cabinet over accusations related to land-grabbing.
Before Mr Rajender who was sacked from the state cabinet on May 2 following allegations of land encroachments, is all set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party in a day or two, party leaders said. Mr Eatala left TRS, then he met BJP national president JP Nadda with state BJP president Bandi Sanjay and the party in charge of Telangana affairs Tarun Chugh.
He held a discussion with Nadda for over an hour over the developments in the state. “Rajender raised certain clarifications from the BJP chief and the latter assured him that he would get the due respect and recognition in the BJP. Nadda asked him to take an early decision on joining the party,” a senior BJP leader familiar with the development said.
Rajender reportedly expressed doubts over the possibility of the BJP adopting a soft corner towards the TRS, in the wake of TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s friendly relations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.