Actor-politician Vijayashanthi joins Congress in Telangana

Two days after resigning from the BJP, actor-politician M. Vijayashanthi joined the Congress here on Friday. /IANS

Hyderabad, Nov 17 (IANS) Two days after resigning from the BJP, actor-politician M. Vijayashanthi joined the Congress here on Friday.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge welcomed her into the party in the presence of party in-charge for Telangana, Manikrai Thakare, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and others.

The former MP returned to the Congress less than two weeks before the Telangana Assembly elections scheduled on November 30.

Vijayashanti, who was a BJP national executive member, resigned from the party on Wednesday after staying away from party activities for the last few months.

She is the fourth key leader to quit the BJP in less than a month. Former MPs Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy and G. Vivekanand are among the leaders who have switched loyalties to the Congress.

It was in December 2020 that Vijayashanthi had returned to the BJP after 15 years.

She had joined the BJP in 1997 and served as the General Secretary of the party’s women’s wing. She quit the BJP in 2005 to float a separate outfit, Talli Telangana, to fight for separate statehood for Telangana.

She later merged Talli Telangana with the TRS (now BRS) and was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Medak constituency in 2009.

In August 2013, a few months before the formation of Telangana state, TRS suspended Vijayashanthi for anti-party activities.

She later joined the Congress and unsuccessfully contested from the Medak Assembly constituency in the 2014 polls.

After lying low for four years, Vijayashanthi again became active in Congress in 2017 and was named its star campaigner for the party in the 2018 Assembly polls. After the party’s debacle, she was not active in the party and returned to the BJP in 2020.

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