Stung by bifurcation, Purandheswari ends 10-yr honeymoon with Cong; to join BJP

Purandheswari ditching the Congress was on the cards ever since she started gravitating towards the saffron party a few months back.


Dinesh Akula | March 6, 2014

Daggubati Purandheswari becomes yet another high-profile leader to desert the sinking Congress ship in Seemandhra. The former Union minister of state for commerce and industry announced her decision at the end of a closed door meeting with her party workers in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.

Leaving the Congress in the lurch, Purandheswari left nothing much for imagination on her next moves. She will be joining the BJP along with her legislator-husband Daggubati Venkateswara Rao after meeting senior leaders of the saffron party in Delhi on Friday. 

Venkateswara Rao, representing the Parchuru Assembly constituency in Prakasam district, was with the BJP for a brief period before heading Congress-wards.

Ending the 10-year-old honeymoon with the Congress was a painful decision for the politician-daughter of late NTR. The party high command simply turning a deaf ear to their bifurcation concerns left her heartbroken, like many others. The high command also planning to shift her out of her present Lok Sabha constituency came in as the last nail.

Purandheswari was among the first to tender her resignation as a union minister in the wake of the CWC decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. She relinquished all her official privileges but tried her hand changing the Congress’ mind since then. 

Purandheswari ditching the Congress was on the cards ever since she started gravitating towards the saffron party a few months back. In fact, the politically-suave leader also had the luxury to choose between BJP and the YSR Congress Party.

Equally keen on her and to pull a fast one over the BJP, the YSRCP was reported to have offered a Lok Sabha ticket from Vijayawada. But Purandheswari found a safe bet in a second-time contest from Visakhapatnam on a BJP ticket. 

Also, the high prospects of a BJP-led coalition forming the government at the Centre appeared to have weighed on her mind. Purandheswari too fancies her chances to become a union minister for the third straight term, given her equally strong relations with the BJP top brass.

Quitting the Congress, Purandheswari boasts of a brief but an enviable political career spanning over 10 years. Living under her husband’s shadow for years, she stormed the political-scene from nowhere, just a few months before the 2004 elections. Soon, she grabbed the eyeballs as the first-time MP from Bapatla who made her way into the Union Council of Ministers.

In 2009, the party nominated her from Visakhapatnam and even ensured her victory by reigning in the local dissenting leaders. 

Though the elevation of the NTR daughter was a tactical ploy to embarrass the TDP, she was always regarded as very close to 10 Janpath. Besides being an affable politician, she was equally well-appreciated for her work as a minister. 

A few Congress leaders, who persuaded her to stay back in the party, see her decision as an act of political opportunism. But Purandheswari loyalists are quick to hit back: They feel that the Congress comes first for pursuing a dangerous policy of political convenience with the state bifurcation. 







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