Bhongir MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy on Tuesday, 14 February, stirred the hornet’s nest once again by saying that there would be a post-poll alliance between the Congress and the BRS after the next Assembly elections in Telangana, implying that there would be a hung Assembly.
Congress party leaders, angry with him for his loose talk to the media, brought the matter to the notice of Telangana Congress in-charge Manikrao Thakre who, in turn, asked Komatireddy to meet him on Wednesday, 15 February.
But Komatireddy met him at the Shamshabad airport on Tuesday evening itself and denied ever saying that there would be a hung Assembly. He also denied saying that there would be a post-poll alliance.
Later, Thakre told media persons that he had not seen any video but reiterated that the party would not have either pre-poll or post-poll alliance with any party.
Also read: Why the BJP need not be allergic to domes
What Venkat Reddy said
Venkat Reddy — who has become a fly in the ointment for many leaders owing allegiance to Telangana Congress president A Revanth Reddy — had said that the verdict in the ensuing elections would be fractured.
The BRS would have no other option but to join hands with Congress, he said.
The Congress MP said that no party would get more than 60 seats in the 119-member Assembly, which would force Telangana Chief Minister and BRS chief K Chandrashekar Reddy to join hands with the Congress.
If everyone worked hard, Congress may get about 40 to 50 seats this time, he added.
He, however, said that Congress would be in power one way or the other, adding that he would take out a padayatra and bike yatra after taking permission from the party leadership.
Taking a swipe at Revanth Reddy, albeit indirectly, he said that the party would not come to power with the contribution of only one leader.
Chief minister post in the pipeline?
By making clear his intention of taking out a padayatra, he dropped a subtle hint that he was throwing the hat in the ring for the chief minister’s post after the Congress comes to power.
Komatireddy’s comments had sparked off angry reactions not only from a section of Congress but also from the BJP and the BRS.
The Telangana Congress quickly disowned Komatireddy’s comments.
TPCC working president Mahesh Kumar Goud, senior vice president Mallu Ravi, vice president Samala Kiran Kumar Reddy and general secretary Addanki Dayakar said that the party had nothing to do with his opinions.
They recalled party leader Rahul Gandhi saying at the Warangal convention in the recent past that the Congress would not have any truck with any party.
The Congress leaders disapproved of the MP making comments which created confusion among the party workers.
Demands disciplinary action
Mallu Ravi demanded disciplinary action against Komatireddy for his comments, describing them as irresponsible. Speaking to reporters in Bhadrachalam, Ravi said that he would write to the party high command to initiate action against Komatireddy.
He recalled how the MP had hurt the interests of the party in the run-up to the Munugode by-election by campaigning for his brother Rajagopal Redddy who was in the fray on a BJP ticket.
Though the party had given him a show-cause notice, he did not reply to it, he said, and pointed out that Komatireddy’s comments might even help the BJP.
‘Congress helping BRS’
BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar said Komatireddy’s comments implied that the Congress would step out of the electoral battle-field, obviously to help the BRS.
He said the Congress, left parties and the BRS were coming together to defeat the BJP, which is going from strength to strength in Telangana.
He, however, said that even if there was a coalition against the BJP, it is going to win the elections hands down.
He wondered why the Congress leaders were taking out padayatras while they themselves were saying that there was no way their party would win the elections this time.
Meanwhile, Energy Minister G Jagadeeswara Reddy said that no one can predict what the Komatireddy brothers would say at any given point in time.
One of the two brothers, while being in the Congress had said the BJP would win the elections, and the other while being in the BJP had said the Congress would win.
“There is no point in taking his comments seriously,” he said.