In what may be seen as a victory for the “native” Congressmen who had raised a banner of revolt against recent “migrants” to the party, including state party president Revanth Reddy, Maharashtra leader Manikrao Thakre has replaced incumbent Manickam Tagore as the Congress in-charge of Telangana.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge effected the change “with immediate effect” on Wednesday, 4 January. Tagore has been appointed in-charge of Goa, AICC general secretary KC Venugopal said in a press release.
The move was expected ever since the trouble-shooting visit by senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh who rushed to the state after nine senior leaders — referred to as the G9 — raised a “Save Congress” slogan after being denied party posts in a reorganisation effected by Revanth Reddy.
The rebels also accused Revanth Reddy to using the Congress “war room” to malign them on social media.
The revolt, led by Nalgonda MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy, Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, and former MP Madhu Yaskhi Goud, was quelled somewhat by Digvijaya Singh’s two-day visit to the state.
Related: Congress rebels rise, revolt against Revanth Reddy
Revolt of the ‘natives’
The visit saw the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister interact extensively with both the “natives” — long-time Congress party members — as well as the “migrants”, the recent entrants into the party, mostly from the TDP, like Revanth Reddy, who was inducted into the party in October 2017.
The simmering discontent over the induction of the “migrants” was accentuated when Revanth Reddy was made Telangana Congress president in June 2021.
The last straw was the way the party was revamped recently. Of the 108 members appointed to different committees, 58 were from TDP.
Most of the old Congress hands in the state did not find a place on the powerful Political Affairs Committee (PAC) that guides the affairs of the party.
Related: All settled, says Digvijaya after troubleshooting visit
Tagore an irritant to ‘natives’
Sources said that though the Congress high command was not in favour of replacing Revanth Reddy, Digvijaya Singh in his post-visit report, had recommended the removal of Tagore, seen by the “natives” as firmly backing Revanth Reddy.
The announcement of Tagore’s removal came on a day that most of the G9 leaders boycotted a “training session” organised by the state Congress. However, in what suggested developing fissures in the rebel camp, Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and another senior leader M Kodanda Reddy attended the session.
Sources said Tagore replacement, Manikrao Thakre, is a close confidant of the Gandhi family and he strident critic of the BJP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. He won as an MLA four times and once as an MLC.
Meanwhile, in his press release, KC Venugopal said Dinesh Gundu Rao would continue as Congress party in-charge of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.