Intense race in Telangana Congress for state President’s post

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Intense race in Telangana Congress for state President’s post

Hyderabad: With the term of Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy as the President of the Congress’ Telangana unit set to end early next month, an intense race has begun in the ruling party for the top state party post.

Several contenders for the post are camping in the national capital and lobbying hard with the party’s central leadership.

Revanth Reddy, whose term as state President is ending July 7, has already requested the leadership to entrust the responsibility to some other leader so that he can concentrate on governance.

Sworn in as the Chief Minister on December 7, 2023, he has been holding dual posts since then. As not much time was left for the Lok Sabha elections, the central leadership had asked Revanth Reddy to continue as the state chief.

After leading Congress to victory in the November 2023 polls, Revanth Reddy led the campaign in Parliamentary elections. He claims that the Congress performed well in the Lok Sabha elections as it increased its number of seats to eight from three in 2019. It also increased its vote share to 41 per cent from 39.5 per cent it secured in Assembly elections.

The Congress won eight out of 17 Lok Sabha seats but a section of the party leaders were not fully satisfied as they were expecting 10-12 seats.

They voiced concern over the increased strength of the BJP, which improved its tally to eight from four in 2019.

The central leadership of the Congress also acknowledged the need to have a full-time state unit President to strengthen the organisation.

Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal, party in-charge for Telangana Deepa Dasmunshi and other leaders have been holding consultations with Revanth Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Irrigation Minister N Uttam Kumar Reddy, and some other senior leaders camping in Delhi for the last few days.

Since a leader from the Reddy community is the Chief Minister, the central leadership may appoint someone from backward classes as the state chief.

Political analysts say this is the formula Congress adopted whenever it was in power in united Andhra Pradesh. Since a Reddy is not likely to be appointed state party chief, few aspirants considered rivals of Revanth Reddy may be disappointed. Senior leaders like Jeevan Reddy, Jagga Reddy, and Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy were said to be aspiring for the post.

Stating that he is looking forward to working in close coordination with the new state President, Revanth Reddy said the party leadership will take an appropriate decision. He claimed that he did not have any special choice regarding the appointment.

Since backward classes are about 50 per cent of the state’s population and have been demanding adequate representation in the state Cabinet, the Congress leadership is most likely to name a leader from the community as state chief. State Working President and MLC B. Mahesh Goud is seen as a front-runner for the post.

The name of former MP Madhu Yaskhi Goud is also doing the rounds.

A leader from Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe communities could also be given the responsibility. Congress Secretary S.A. Sampath Kumar, a leader from SCs, is another strong contender. Former Union Minister and Mahabubabad MP P. Balram Naik, an ST leader, may also get the chance.

The names of ministers Dansari Anasuya alias Seethakka, and Ponnam Prabhakar and MLA Adluri Laxman are also said to be under consideration for the top post.

The Congress leadership may prefer a leader who can work in coordination with the Chief Minister and is acceptable to various sections within the party. The long-pending Cabinet expansion will also be kept in mind while appointing a new state unit President.

Revanth Reddy is likely to go for Cabinet expansion in the first week of July by inducting 4-5 ministers. The party leadership will be careful to ensure a social equation while undertaking the exercise.


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