Telangana Rashtra Samithi leaders Narsa Reddy and Ramulu Naik joined the Congress on Saturday after meeting their new party’s president, Rahul Gandhi, in New Delhi, the Hindustan Times reported. Reddy is a former MLA from Gajwel while Naik was the party’s Member of Legislative Council from Narayankhed.

Earlier this month, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi sacked Naik for alleged “anti-party” activities. The party issued a similar dismissal notice to Reddy on Friday, The News Minute reported.

Both leaders criticised party’s founder and Telangana caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and urged people to vote the party out of power. They claimed that Rao was inaccessible and that they had been mistreated.

The developments come ahead of the the December 7 Assembly elections in Telangana. Rao dissolved the House last month to avoid holding the Assembly polls with the Lok Sabha elections.

Naik addressed reporters soon after he met Gandhi. “The people of Telangana are ready to make Pragathi Bhavan [The CM camp office] a ‘Praja’ Bhavan and are coming forward,” Naik said. “I spoke to Rahul Gandhi and only asked him to look into the issue of reservation for the Scheduled Tribe community in the state.”

Reddy said Rao’s behaviour had prompted him to rejoin the Congress. “I have served people all my life and have held various posts over the years,” Reddy said. “Earlier, I could easily approach the former chief ministers with the problems of my people as their doors were always open. But now, I cannot even cross the gate of Rao’s farmhouse, even though I am an ex-MLA of the same constituency. What will be the state of the common man then?”

The former Gajwel MP was Telangana State Road Development Corporation chairperson in the Rao administration.

TRS leader and Rajya Sabha member D Srinivas also met Gandhi on Saturday but played down speculation about him joining his former party. Srinivas had defected to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi in 2015.