Despite rumours that Bhatti Vikramarka would skip the meeting amidst a demand for a 'Dalit CM', he was present at the CLP meeting.
The Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting, which was held in Hyderabad on Monday, 4 December, has left the choice of its leader — effectively the next chief minister of Telangana — to the party’s national president Mallikarjun Kharge.
The party’s state unit chief A Revanth Reddy — considered the frontrunner for the post — himself proposed the one-line resolution leaving the choice of the CLP leader to Kharge.
The resolution was seconded by former CLP leader Bhatti Vikramarka — who’s hat is also in the ring, according to party sources — as well as Nalgonda MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy who won the election from Huzurnagar, Konda Surekha, who won from Warangal East, and Danasari Anasuya aka Seethakka, the Mulugu victor.
The meeting to elect the leader of the legislature party began in the morning on Monday in the presence of senior leaders and All India Congress Committee (AICC) observers.
While Revanth Reddy is considered the frontrunner for chief ministership, there has been a buzz around former CLP leader Bhatti Vikramarka, with #bhattivikramrkaforCM even briefly trending on X (formerly Twitter). Another contender is Uttam Kumar Reddy.
Meaning was read into the fact that Bhatti Vikramarka was not present at the post-results press conference held by Revanth Reddy in Hyderabad on Sunday, with the speculation being that he was interested in the post.
Congress sources South First reached out to, however, insisted that the meeting was a smooth affair.
Despite the rumours that Bhatti Vikarmakrka would not attend the Monday CLP meeting even as the demand for a “Dalit CM” was being floated on social media, he turned up for the meeting.
Bhatti Vikramarka won from the Madhira constituency with a majority of 35,000-plus votes.
All the elected MLAs were present at the venue by 10 am, sources told South First.
However, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar and one of the AICC observers appointed by Kharge to coordinate the meeting of the CLP, arrived at the venue only at around 11.45 am.
According to sources, the CLP meeting was being held with urgency to deter groupism in the Congress party. There was also speculation that a deputy chief minister would be elected along with the chief minister.
After clinching 65 seats in the 119-seat Assembly along with its ally, the CPI, a delegation of Congress leaders on Sunday had met Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and staked claim to form the government in the state.
Speaking to reporters after meeting the Governor, Shivakumar said, “We have staked claim to form the government.”
The party’s first CLP meeting was held on Sunday evening, where a resolution was passed congratulating all the winning candidates and thanking the leaders, workers, and voters of the Congress.
The Telangana police said they had been asked by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief Revanth Reddy to make security arrangements for the swearing-in ceremony on 4 or 9 December.
Since the poll schedule of the Election Commission of India (ECI) would be in place till 5 December, a 4 December swearing-in is unlikely.
By all accounts, Anumula Revanth Reddy, the TPCC president, who led the Congress’ charge, finds himself on the brink of chief ministership.
Reddy won from the Kodangal constituency with a margin of over 32,000 votes defeating his nearest BRS rival Patnam Narender Reddy. The Congress leader, however, lost in Kamareddy, where he was taking on the BRS supremo K Chandrashekar Rao, and K Venkata Ramana Reddy of the BJP — who defeated both KCR and Revanth Reddy.
Speaking to the media on Sunday, Reddy said the Congress’s victory is dedicated to Telangana martyrs.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra gave impetus to the party in the state, Reddy said, adding that the “six guarantees” given by the Congress and the other promises made by leaders such as Rahul Gandhi would also be implemented, once the party forms the government.
(With PTI inputs)