Congress in its final stages of deciding on new TPCC president amid diverse candidates

Since Revanth Reddy is already the chief minister, the top brass wants to relieve him of the responsibility of leading the party.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jun 30, 2024 | 10:00 AM Updated Jun 30, 2024 | 10:00 AM

Congress in its final stages of deciding on new TPCC president amid diverse candidates

The Congress high command is taking a calibrated approach in picking the new president for the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC).

The party leadership wants to entrust the reins to a capable person who can take all sections along with him, while remaining loyal to the top brass and at the same time coordinate with Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy in implementing party programmes.

Revanth Reddy will complete three years as TPCC president by 7 July.

Since he is already the chief minister, the top brass wants to relieve him of the responsibility of leading the party. The chief minister has also requested  to be relieved immediately.

Party top brass Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal discussed the issue with the chief minister, AICC in-charge for Telangana Deepa Das Munshi and other top leaders of the Telangana Congress in Delhi during the last three days.

The names that came up before the party high command included Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, who is a Dalit (mala), SA Sampath Kumar, a Dalit (madiga), former minister Porika Balaram Naik, who is a tribal and incumbent MP from Mahabubabad, among others.

According to sources, the party is also considering the BC leaders – MLC B Mahesh Kumar Goud and former MP Madhu Yashki Goud and Zaheerabad MP Suresh Shetkar for the coveted post.

Also Read: Despite BRS MLAs’ exodus to Congress, KCR says it doesn’t matter

Party deliberating on possible candidates

The party has been following the tradition of having a TPCC president from a different caste from that of the chief minister.

Accordingly, the TPCC chief’s post would go to a non-Reddy candidate since Revanth Reddy belongs to this forward community. This effectively eliminates the possibility of having a Reddy as the leader of the TPCC.

Probably reading the writing on the wall, TPCC working president T Jayaprakash Reddy, also known as Jagga Reddy, waxed philosophical on Saturday, 29 June.

He said, “I would welcome the decision of the party high command, regardless of who it chooses to lead the party. But in the next 10 years, I would surely become the TPCC president and even the chief minister.”

The party is understood to have deliberated on the merits of each candidate.

The party leadership took notice of the fact that though Sampath Kumar might be a good choice since he belongs to madiga sub- caste of the SCs, who are under represented in the cabinet.

The factor that is working against him is that he hails from Mahabubnagar district from where the chief minister also comes from.

Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, who also took part in the deliberations, is understood to have requested the party to consider him. He referred to how Karnataka deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar is also doubling up as TPCC president.

But the party leadership is a bit hesitant since he belongs to Mala sub caste of the SCs who have already been over-represented in various positions in the party and the government.

The party may take a look at Balaram Naik’s candidature as he is a tribal and worked as a minister of the state in the UPA-II. The party is also considering Panchayat Raj and Women Welfare minister Danasari Anasuya for the post, who is quite popular among the tribals.

Another advantage she has is that she is a woman. Revanth Reddy, during a media conference, did not rule out the choice zeroing on her. She happens to an ardent supporter of the chief minister.

Also Read: Comedian Daniel Fernandes’ Hyd show cancelled after threats from BJP MLA Raja Singh

Filling the vacant berths in Revanth Reddy cabinet

The sources pointed out that the party is also seized of filling the six vacant berths in Revanth Reddy cabinet.

Though the chief minister denied any discussion taking place on cabinet expansion obviously to avoid pulls and pressures, the party did go over the issue.

It is actively considering the names of senior leader and Bodhan MLA P Sudarshan Reddy from Nizamabad district, Gaddam Vinod from Bellampally in Adilabad district, Vaikiti Srihari, a BC MLA from Makthal and Munugode legislator Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy, Malreddy Ranga Reddy from Ibrahmipatnam, Kokkirala Prema Sagar Rao from Mancherial and Thammannagari Rammohan Reddy from Parigi.

It will be interesting to watch how the party could accommodate Rajagopal Reddy at a time when his elder brother Komatireddy Venkata Reddy is already a minister.

If Rajagopal Reddy is chosen, overriding the criticism of rewarding the same family unduly, Sudarshan Reddy would become the sacrificial lamb as the party cannot go on taking reddys into the cabinet, ad infinitum, ignoring other castes.

The problem of over-representation crops up if the party takes G Vinod into the cabinet as already his brother Vivek’s son Vamshi has been fielded as the party candidate from Peddapally in Lok Sabha polls which he won.

In Vinod’s case, he also faces the problem of belonging to mala sub-caste of the SCs, which already holds  surplus of positions in the party.

(Edited by Shauqueen Mizaj)

(South First is now on WhatsApp and Telegram)