Ex-Congress leader Kaushik Reddy joins TRS

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Hyderabad, Jul 21 (PTI) In a shot in the arm for TRS in the coming bypoll to the Huzurabad assembly constituency in Telangana, former Congress leader Kaushik Reddy on Wednesday joined the ruling party.

Bypoll to the Huzurabad seat, near Karimnagar, was necessitated following the resignation of former minister Eatala Rajender last month.

Rajender had quit the TRS and as MLA after he was removed from the state cabinet over allegations of land grabbing.

He had dismissed the allegations against him and joined the BJP.

Rajender is expected to be the BJP candidate in the Huzurabad by-election.

The Election Commission is yet to announce the schedule for the Huzurabad bypoll.

Kaushik Reddy was the Congress candidate in Huzurabad in the 2018 Telangana assembly elections and his entry is likely to help the TRS in the upcoming bypoll.

Kaushik Reddy joined the TRS here on Wednesday in the presence of party president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

Speaking on the occasion, Rao recalled the decades-long fight for separate Telangana and the contribution of different leaders.

Talking about the efforts being made by his government to boost state's development since the formation of the separate state in 2014, Rao said Telangana, which suffered badly during undivided Andhra Pradesh, now produced three crore tonnes of paddy.

Telangana contributed 92 lakh tonnes of paddy to the Food Corporation of India (FCI), he said.

The per capita consumption of power in Telangana is highest in the country, he said.

Rao also cited the examples of various schemes, including sheep distribution to backward sections, 'Harita Haram' green campaign and 'Rythu Bandhu' investment support scheme for farmers.

Observing that Dalits have remained backward all over the country, he said the soon-to-be-launched 'Dalit Bandhu' scheme (providing Rs 10 lakh to the beneficiaries) would benefit Dalits in a big way.

On comments that a pilot project of 'Dalit Bandhu' is going to be taken up in Huzurabad in view of the bypoll, he said TRS is a political party and asked what was wrong if political benefit is expected when something good is done.

It has to be taken up in some constituency and he could have done it in his assembly segment of Gajwel if he was so selfish, Rao added.PTI SJR BN BALA BN BALA

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