Warangal: With little over one week to go for the polling of the Warangal Lok Sabha by-election, the TRS has dealt a massive blow to the Congress. Rajarapu Prathap, a senior Congress leader and in-charge of Station Ghanpur Assembly constituency, who made a vain attempt to secure party ticket to contest from Warangal Lok Sabha constituency, turned his back on the party and set to join the ruling party.

In a fast-paced political development on Thursday, Prathap met TRS supremo and the Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao in Hyderabad and expressed his willingness to join the party.

According to sources, the initiative for his meeting with KCR was taken by Minister for Major Irrigation T Harish Rao, who is in-charge of Warangal East Assembly segment for the by-poll.

This is a huge setback for the Congress, which is grappling to make up its lost ground after replacing its candidate Sircilla Rajaiah with Sarve Satyanarayana on the last day of filing nominations. It may be mentioned here that the Congress was

forced to replace its nominee after a fire tragedy in the house of Sircilla Rajaiah in which his daughter-in-law and three grandsons were charred to death under suspicious circumstances.

Prathap was one among other top contenders for the Congress ticket to contest from the Warangal Lok Sabha constituency. Though his name was shortlisted by the Congress leadership, the high command initially favoured the candidature of Sircilla Rajaiah and then Sarve Satyanarayana.

Youth Congress Station Ghanpur Assembly constituency president Bathini Rajkumar Goud, who is also joining the TRS, said the party leadership at the district level had ignored them and never took their opinions into consideration.

Prathap along with his followers is scheduled to address a press meet on Saturday. It is learnt that he will join the TRS in the presence of Harish Rao the same day.

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