Hyderabad: D Srinivas, a senior Congress leader in Telangana, on Thursday quit the party and announced his decision to join the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
The former chief of the Andhra Pradesh unit of the Congress, who was sulking for some time for being sidelined by the party leadership, told reporters it was a sad day for him to quit a party with which he was associated for four decades.
"It's a sad day because I worked in the party since the days of Indira Gandhi," he said.
Srinivas, also a former minister in the undivided Andhra Pradesh, said he worked for the Congress will full commitment and dedication. He said while the party entrusted him with many positions, he also worked hard to do justice to these.
Srinivas, who was once considered close to party chief Sonia Gandhi, thanked her for having confidence in him and giving him an opportunity to serve the organisation and the people.
He denied that he resigned from the Congress over not being re-nominated to Telangana legislative council. He, however, hit hard at Digvijaya Singh, the Congress general secretary who is in charge of the party affairs in the state, for not even consulting him before announcing the party candidate.
Stating that he is joining the TRS at the call of his conscience, he vowed to work for the welfare of backward classes and weaker sections of the society. He clarified that he is not joining the TRS for any post.
The senior leader, who on Wednesday called on Telangana Chief Minister and TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao, said people acknowledge that Telangana became a separate state thanks to the efforts of Sonia Gandhi but it was Chandraskhar Rao who played the biggest role.
Srinivas, a backward class leader, twice served as the president of the Congress's Andhra Pradesh unit. His resignation dealt a blow to the party in Telangana as many leaders, including five legislators have joined the TRS ever since it came to power in the newly-created state last year.
Srinivas is the second former chief of the Congress's Andhra Pradesh unit to switch loyalties. Last month, Botsa Satyanarayana joined the YSR Congress party in Andhra Pradesh.