Hyderabad, Nov 21 (IANS) At a time when Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are camping in Goa for good health, veteran Telangana Congress leader Sarve Satyanarayana ditched the party on Saturday to join Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"I am joining the BJP because the country needs the leadership of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the circumstances it is going through," said Satyanarayana as he jumped ship.
He also praised Telangana BJP leaders for their good work. "Whatever be the situation, poor people should be helped. Modi has also resolved to make India numero uno in the world," said the 66-year-old former Congress leader.
Satyanarayana said he did not yield to 'operation akarsh' (unofficial programme to poach politicians from different parties) and the parleys for his BJP joining were happening in the background for the past six months.
"BJP representatives from Delhi have were sent to meet me, I was also called to Delhi for negotiations. All these things happened. They said my joining in BJP would be very nice. Especially Dalit leaders from south India," he said.
However, Satyanarayana said he did not request any assurances from BJP but they told him that he would get 'good' opportunities.
"I got positions based on my work and leadership. I never asked any party to assure me some position then I will join," asserted the new Dalit BJP leader.
However, he declined to comment on the state of Congress party.
According to Satyanarayna, if there was any rival to BJP in the state, it is the incumbent Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS).
"We will have a competition with the TRS government. People are tired of TRS, they are not working well. Every one dreamed that 'Bangaru (golden) Telangana' will come after the formation of the new state but the reign went into one family," he lamented.
Though people dreamed of many good things such as jobs, houses and others, Satyanarayana claimed nothing of that sort was happening.
During the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) - II, Satyanarayana worked as the minister of state for road transport and highways.
There was a time when he even touched the feet of Rahul Gandhi, who was 16 years younger than him in gratitude for some recognition when he was in Congress.
In the past few days, many former Telangana Congress stalwarts abandoned the party which once had a powerful and wide base.
"Sonia Gandhi's gamble of bifurcating united Andhra Pradesh to reap political dividends certainly did not pay off. In fact it backfired so potently that the grand old party has suffered an irrecoverable blow," Talluri Raj Kumar, a YSRCP leader from West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh, told IANS.
Former Hyderabad mayor Banda Karthika Reddy, former Serilingampally MLA Bikshapathi Yadav and others have also freshly ditched Congress for BJP.