Telangana Congress minority department chairman Abdullah Sohail Shaik quits party, blames Revanth Reddy

In a letter to AICC chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Shaik said the party leadership in Telangana was making Muslim leaders fight among themselves.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Oct 28, 2023 | 10:25 PMUpdatedOct 28, 2023 | 10:26 PM

File photo of Abdullah Sohail Shaik

Abdullah Sohail Shaik, the chairman of the Telangana Congress’ minority department, wrote a letter of resignation marking the end of his 34-year-long association with the party.

In a letter addressed to All India Congress Committee president Mallikarjun Kharge, Shaik said the party leadership in Telangana was making Muslim leaders fight amongst themselves.

He recounted his journey from an enthusiastic young party worker to his current position, emphasising his dedication to the Congress and its ideals without expecting his name in elections.

“As I sit to write this letter, my heart is heavy with a blend of sorrow, pain, and a deep sense of loss. For the past 34 years, the Congress wasn’t just an affiliation for me; it was my life, my family, and my purpose. I joined the party as a zealous young man, drawn by its secular ideals and commitment to serving the people. Today, as I write to you, that young man seems like a distant memory, lost in the tangles of disillusionment and betrayal,” he wrote in the letter, which he also posted on X.

Shaik said he believed that only the Congress had a real secular character and ideals to work with legendary leaders like V Vengal Rao, Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy, Dr K Rosaiah, Kiran Kumar Reddy, Ponnala Laxmaiah, and N Uttam Kumar Reddy.

He said it was “unfortunate” that he had to work under the leadership of current TPCC president and former Sangh Parivar activist A Revanth Reddy for the last two and a half years.

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‘Turned Congress into a grocery shop’

“Out of 34 years in politics, the last two and a half years were extremely painful as I witnessed the Congress comprising [sic] its ideals just to come to power,” he said in the letter.

“Starting with booth committee president, I became basti president, division president, block general secretary, and also served as vice-president of the Hyderabad City Congress. I was made the state chairman of the minorities department,” he recalled.

“I did not ask for any official position and remained focused on party activities and strengthening the organisation. I did not even aspire for a party ticket to contest any election,” he added.

However, he claimed that the choice of Revanth Reddy as the TPCC president in June 2021 completely changed everything.

“Revanth turned the Congress into a grocery shop, where people with heavy wallets could walk in and purchase any post,” he charged.

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‘Revanth targeted Muslim leadership’

Shaik claimed that the Congress high command, which talks about organisational networks, should realise that the party headquarters of Gandhi Bhavan had been turned into a shopping mall.

“But the most unfortunate part is the communalisation of the Congress. Having his roots in the RSS, Revanth Reddy targeted the Muslim leadership in the Congress party. He first made all the Muslim leaders fight each other, and then ensured that all of them lost their relevance and grip,” he said.

Forming nearly 14.5 percent of the population of Telangana, Muslims are the single largest community in the state. However, the community was completely neglected in the TPCC, said Shaik.

Out of 33 districts, there are only three Muslim District Coordination Committees, which include Hyderabad (where Muslims are over 70 percent), he said, adding that by doing so, Revanth Reddy crushed the Muslim leaders within the party.

Explaining Revanth Reddy’s main target, Shaik said that Shabbir Ali was forcibly confined to the Kamareddy constituency and made to ignore state politics.

After Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao announced that he would also contest from the Kamareddy constituency besides Gajwel, Revanth Reddy threw out Shabbir Ali from his home constituency, from where he has been the lone undisputed Congress candidate since 1989, he said.

Today, Shabbir Ali is being asked to contest from Nizamabad (Urban), where the Muslim population is around 40 percent of the total, he added.

On the other side, the Congress gave tickets to non-Muslim candidates from Bahadurpura, Chandrayangutta, and Yakutpura, where Muslim voters are over 70 percent, Shaik pointed out.

Revanth Reddy contends that Muslims should not remain confined to Muslim-concentrated seats and Hindus should also contest them, he said.

He asked why, in such a scenario, Mohammed Azharuddin was fielded as a candidate from Jubilee Hills, where Muslim voters are nearly 40 percent of the population.