Actor-Politician Vijayashanti Returns To BJP In Latest Big Congress Exit

Vijayashanti, who quit the Congress over the weekend, joined the ruling BJP today, a day after she met with Home Minister Amit Shah.

Actor-Politician Vijayashanti Returns To BJP In Latest Big Congress Exit

New Delhi: Actor-turned-politician Vijayashanti, who quit the Congress over the weekend, joined the ruling BJP today, a day after she met with Home Minister Amit Shah.

Vijayashanti, 54, was a big star in south Indian cinema when she started her political career with the BJP in 1997. She quit the party to join the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) during its fight for a separate Telangana. She was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009. The Telugu movie star joined the Congress in 2014, just before Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated and Telangana was born.

Her return to the BJP comes at a time the party is prepping for an aggressive campaign for the 2023 Telangana election, galvanized by its gains in the Hyderabad civic polls at the cost of the ruling TRS. The BJP won 48 of 150 seats in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, seven less than the TRS and 12 times times its 2016 tally. The Congress barely registered, winning only two seats, the same as in 2016.

Vijayashanti is the second high-profile Congress leader to join the BJP after Khushbu Sundar from Tamil Nadu. She quit the Congress after Hyderabad local poll results on Friday.

According to those close to Vijayashanti — who had famously compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a terrorist and a dictator while campaigning for the national election last year – she had been disenchanted with the Congress for a while. She had not been active in Congress programmes and activities in the past few months.

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