Congress handpicks Karnataka minister NS Boseraju to counter dissent in poll-bound Telangana

Boseraju tells South First his role is to assess situation at the grassroots, coordinate with party leaders and workers, and resolve dissent.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Oct 22, 2023 | 10:49 PMUpdatedOct 22, 2023 | 11:26 PM

Karnataka Minister NS Boseraju Telangana Assembly Elections Congress

In a strategic move ahead of the upcoming Telangana Assembly elections, the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) has appointed Karnataka’s Minister for Minor Irrigation and Science and Technology NS Boseraju as a special observer.

Boseraju, who had previously served as the AICC in-charge for Telangana’s Congress unit for over five-and-a-half years, brings a wealth of experience to his new role, claim Congress leaders.

Though he was elected twice from Karnataka’s Manvi Assembly seat — he hails from Bhimavaram Town in Andhra Pradesh. He belongs to one of the influential communities — Telugu Kshatriya in Andhra Pradesh.

His surprise induction into the Siddaramaiah Cabinet by the AICC central leadership in Karnataka raised eyebrows, especially considering he neither contested the 2023 Karnataka Assembly polls nor was is he an elected member of any House.

However, post-induction, Boseraju was unanimously elected as a Member of Legislative Council in June. He is also the leader of the house in the Karnataka legislative council. He is the only MLC to find a place in the cabinet.

Admitting dissent in the cadre in the poll-bound state, Boseraju exuded confidence of registering a thumping victory in Telangana and criticised the Bharat Rashtra Samithi.

Also read: BJP fields T Raja Singh from Goshamahal 

Unwavering dedication

Earlier, Boseraju had demanded a party ticket to contest from Raichur City. But the party denied him the opportunity and lost the seat.

However, Boseraju is said to have been rewarded with a ministerial position as a recognition of his unwavering dedication and diligent efforts in revitalising the Congress party in Raichur district in the Assembly polls earlier this year.

However, certain leaders within the district, including Congress’ Raichur Rural MLA Basanagouda Daddal and Sindhanur MLA Hampanagouda Badarli, had expressed strong opposition to his inclusion in the Cabinet in May.

Also read: BJP names 3 MPs in first list of 52 candidates for Telangana 

Focus on grassroots

In an exclusive conversation on his appointment as the AICC observer for Telangana, Boseraju told South First: “I am grateful to the party’s central leadership for entrusting me with new responsibility for the Telangana elections. I have been associated with this state party unit affairs for over five-and-half years now.”

“I have been appointed as special observer; primarily my role will be to assess the grassroots situation across the state, coordinate with the party leaders and workers, and resolve dissent within the cadre in the run-up to the elections,” Boseraju revealed his role in Telangana elections for the grand old party.

Boseraju admitted that there is dissent in the party over the distribution of tickets.

He said: “The party has already announced the first list for 55 seats. Thereafter, the dissent broke out in a few segments, which is common in all the parties during elections. These kinds of situations are unavoidable even during the local body elections.”

“The party is overcrowded with many incumbent MLAs and MLCs from the BRS party joining the cadre. The party is giving priority to them while finalising the tickets. In these circumstances, it is common that there will be dissent in the party,” Boseraju added.

He said that the he will be looking after all the party affairs in Telangana and not just of any particular segment.

Also read: Rahul Gandhi tries to reignite Telangana passion

‘Second list on 26 or 27 October’

With the Telangana Assembly polls slated on 30 November, the political parties are busy finalising the candidates for the 119 seats — and the Congress is likely to release the second list either on 26 or 27 October.

The scrutiny process to finalise the candidates for the remaining 64 seats have already been completed and is expected to be announced in the following week.

Boseraju also took part in the review meeting held by the Congress on Telangana Assembly polls in Hyderabad on Sunday.

With regard to the second list, Boseraju said: “The Screening Committee has scrutinised the candidates for the remaining constituencies. The second list is likely to be out either on 26 or 27 October.”

“It will not be the final list. The party is likely to release another list looking at the other party candidates in the coming days. BRS has already announced the full list, whereas BJP has just announced its first list.”

Also read: Congress demands inquiry into sinking of Medigadda barrage pillar

‘BRS, not the BJP is the opponent’

“The saffron cadre is grappling to find candidates in many seats. It is evident in the very first list itself as it has fielded some of its candidates in two seats. Our opponent is BRS, not the BJP in Telangana,” said Boseraju.

On how confident the Congress was in the lead-up to the elections, he said: “We are cent percent confident of defeating the incumbent BRS government, expecting to win anywhere between 70 to 72 seats — according to our party internal survey reports.”

“Being in power for two successive terms, the K Chandrashekar Rao-led-BRS government failed to deliver the promises made to the people of Telangana. There is clear anti-incumbency here. We will come to power,” Boseraju exuded confidence.

He also assured that his involvement in poll activities in Telangana will not affect his ministry in Karnataka.

“I am aware that there is drought in the state. I am constantly in communication with people of the state. I have been given the in-charge of Kodagu district as well. I have been balancing my work since this appointment. I will ensure that the election work does not affect my performance in Karnataka,” added Boseraju.

‘Advantage for party’

AICC secretary and in-charge of Telangana Mansoor Khan, who is working at the grassroots level for the last couple of months in the poll-bound state, emphasised the significance of Boseraju’s appointment as special observer considering his experience with the state party’s affairs.

Mansoor Khan told South First: “We are ahead of the incumbent BRS in the poll-bound state. The party is heading on the right track to register a stellar victory and dethrone the KCR-led government in Telangana.”

“Minister Boseraju will come handy for the cadre because he understands the pulse and party affairs splendidly here. He is a very skilled leader. His experience will definitely help the party in terms of strategy and coordination with the cadre,” said Khan.

He continued: “The wave is in favour of Congress. There is anti-incumbency against the ruling party. People are unhappy with the governance of the BRS party in the last two terms.”

“There is systematic corruption in the KCR regime. The voters are aware of it. People are fed up with the KCR family, mainly his son KT Rama Rao, daughter K Kavitha, and nephew T Harish Rao,” said Khan.

“Ten years is a very long time for any party to deliver, but the BRS has utterly failed in this regard. All the communities, including SCs and STs, are unhappy with the BRS,” Khan contended.