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Revanth stumps TRS with long-term plans!

TPCC chief A.Revanth Reddy continues to give sleepless nights to TRS top brass ever since he took over reigns of Congress in Telangana.

TRS leadership is not able to assess the clever political moves of Revanth.

TRS strongly believed that Revanth will field a strong candidate like Konda Surekha in Huzurabad by poll scheduled to be held on October 30.

TRS hoped that this will split anti-TRS votes between Congress and BJP and make TRS victory easier in Telangana.

But Revanth gave a twist by fielding an unknown face Venkat Balmoor in Huzurabad after realizing that Congress has no chance to win this election in this big battle between KCR and Etela Rajender.

Revanth’s strategy is that TRS should not benefit due to vote split between Congress and BJP and he wants TRS to lose at any cost and he doesn’t mind even if BJP wins in this election.

Revanth feels that if TRS loses Huzurabad, KCR will weaken and lose his grip on TRS and TRS will collapse by 2023 Assembly polls.

It will benefit Congress in the long run although Congress suffers temporary setback in Huzurabad now by fielding a weak candidate like Venkat.

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Is Team PK planning to use 3-capital issue for snap polls

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Is YS Jagan Mohan Reddy preparing a master plan to go to snap polls on the issue of three capitals and stoke sub-regional fires? Is he trying to corner the TDP and portray it as a party that is supporting Amaravati only to protest the real estate interests of his partymen? Will this lead to sub-regional tensions between the three regions?

Highly placed sources in the YSRCP say that both YS Jagan and Prashant Kishor, who recently rejoined YS Jagan team, have decided to use the three-capital issue. The YSRCP wants to project Chandrababu as the obstructor-in-chief for the three capitals proposal. This would help turn the tide against the TDP in north Andhra and Rayalaseema. The Rayalaseema region is already firmly in the hands of the YSRCP and the TDP might not be able to regain its hold anytime soon, claim the YSRCP sources. They also claim that north Andhra too will move away from the TDP on the issue of Vizag as the administrative capital.

The YSRCP also feels that there is not much support to the Amaravati farmers’ agitation. The agitation has already fizzled out, the party feels. This is an agitation of just 22 villages and might not even impact the Guntur district, feels the YSRCP. Hence it feels that this issue will benefit it. Meanwhile, team PK is said to have begun the task of fine-tuning YS Jagan’s strategy The team also feels that the welfare schemes will help the party in a big way.

However, some analysts say that the three-capital issue could boomerang for the YSRCP. It feels that the three capitals issue has not moved forward. Already there is discontent in Kurnool as no additional benefits will accrue to the city due to setting up of the high court. Except a couple of new Xerox shops, there would be no developments, said a Kurnool local. The TDP hopes to capitalise on this issue.

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Cong seniors non-cooperation with Revanth hits party!

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TPCC chief A.Revanth Reddy is making all the efforts to take all the senior Congress leaders into confidence ever since he was appointed to head Congress in Telangana in June.

He is trying to consult seniors on all the issues. But the seniors who are angry at Revanth’s appointment as TPCC chief are not cooperating with him even after two months.

Seniors like Uttam Kumar Reddy, Jana Reddy, Komatireddy brothers, V Hanumantha Rao etc are avoiding Gandhi Bhavan.

They are also not participating in party activities undertaken by Revanth.

They are just confining to their constituencies. 

This non-cooperation by party seniors in Congress is giving ammunition for TRS to attack Revanth.

TRS media is aggressively carrying negative reports on Revanth pointing out split in Telangana Congress due to revolt by seniors.

Although Revanth was successful in creating a josh for Congress in Telangana after he took over as TPCC chief, the non cooperation by seniors is creating negative impact on party and making Revanth’s efforts futile.

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Is Revanth trying to lure his TDP friend into Congress?

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Casual meeting or condolence meeting…. Everything has some significance or the other in politics. When two leaders in opposite camps meet, politics is bound to crop up. So, when PCC chief Revanth Reddy met Hyderabad’s former mayor Teegala Krishna Reddy, there is bound to be speculation. The question, is Teegala joining the Congress?, is bound to come up.

The other day, Revanth Reddy called on his old friend Teegala, whose son-in-law passed away the other day. But, the political circles began ringing bells. The reason? Teegala is unhappy in the TRS. So, when Revanth met him, the political circles felt Revanth could extend an invitation to his old friend to join the Congress Party. Though neither of the leaders confirmed it, the buzz refused to die.

Teegala began his career in the TDP and was with the party through thick and thin. In 2014, he won on TDP ticket, but defected to the TRS. In the 2018 elections, Congress candidate Sabitha Indrareddy trounced him. Later, she joined the TRS and went on to become a minister. Thus, the importance for Teegala has begun to come down. He began to feel that he was marginalized and ignored in the party. When the BJP fortunes were on the upswing, especially after the Dubbak and GHMC elections, Teegala tried to join the BJP. He even met some key BJP leaders. Realising the danger of losing Teegala, KCR personally telephoned him and invited him to the Pragathi Bhavan. Teegala stayed back. But, after that KCR simply forgot him.

An unhappy Teegala is now said to be looking towards Revanth Reddy, who has been a good friend since the TDP days. So, when Revanth called him on, Teegala responded positively. This has set off a buzz that Teegala will join the Congress. As of now, Teegala has neither confirmed nor refuted the allegation. Is he waiting for a better deal from KCR? Or is he waiting for the right moment to defect? Let’s wait and see.

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Kaushik Reddy to join TRS tomorrow, is he Huzurabad candidate?

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Padi Kaushik Reddy, who quit Congress last week, has decided to join TRS on Wednesday (tomorrow).

Kaushik Reddy contested as Congress candidate against then TRS candidate Etela Rajender in 2018 December Assembly polls but he lost by 43,719 votes. Etela secured 1.04 lakh votes, while Kaushik got 61,121 votes. All other parties lost their deposits.

Ever since Etela quit TRS and Assembly seat in June, Kaushik Reddy is waging a war against him in Huzurabad constituency with an aim to contest bypoll and defeat Etela.

Kaushik was trying for Congress ticket and at the same time TRS ticket to contest against Etela.

But the unexpected developments in Telangana Congress following the appointment of A Revanth Reddy as new TPCC chief on June 26 changed the fortunes of Kaushik Reddy in Congress.

There were speculations that Revanth was against Kaushik Reddy and wants to filed former MP Ponnam Prabhakar in his place in Huzurabad bypoll after there were reports in media that Kaushik Reddy met TRS working president KTR and also maintaining ‘secret relations’ with TRS.

At this stage, an audio clip of Kaushik Reddy which was leaked and went viral on social media platforms has put Kaushik Reddy in a fix. In the audio clip, he was heard telling Huzurabad local TRS youth leader that TRS high command has confirmed TRS ticket for him in the bypoll.

The TPCC issued show-cause notice to Kaushik. But instead of replying to show cause notice, Kaushik resigned to Congress and levelled serious allegations against Revanth Reddy alleging that Revanth became TPCC chief by bribing Rs 50 crore to AICC Telangana affairs incharge Manickam Tagore.

With Kaushik Reddy deciding to join TRS on Wednesday, speculations are rife in TRS circles that KCR wants to field Kaushik Reddy from TRS against Etela as Kaushik has put up a good fight against Etela in 2018 and has more chances to win against Etela on TRS ticket in the bypoll.

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Revanth-Devender Goud meet: PCC chief makes a splash, buts comes back empty handed

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Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Revanth Reddy is continuing to create a buzz and he has some ace up his sleeve every day. On Sunday evening, he sprang a surprise by calling on former TDP heavyweight and former home minister of the undivided AP, Devender Goud. He, party’s senior leaders Madhu Yashki Goud and Mallu Ravi, went over to the Tukkuguda residence of Devender Goud and held discussions for well over half-an –hour.

With this, the rumour mill went into a tizzy claiming that Devender Goud was joining the Congress Party. There were also rumours that Devender Goud’s son Veerender Goud too was joining the party. There were rumours that Vijender, who has joined the BJP after the 2019 elections, was upset at not being given any party position in the BJYM. Sources said he was considering resigning the party.

However, it turned out that both Devender and son Vijender Goud did not make any big bang announcement. Vijender Goud said that both Revanth and Madhu Goud came over to discuss several issues pertaining to the state politics. He said that he would continue to be in the BJP and said there could be points of convergence among all the opposition parties.

Madhu Yashki, who claimed he was like a family member of Devender Goud, termed the latter as a treasure trove of knowledge and experience. He said they have come to discuss the issues relating to development and progress of Telangana. Revanth Reddy said he would continue to come and seek the advice of Devender Goud. He said both Devender Goud and late S Jaipal Reddy were symbols of probity in public life. Over all, throughout the day Revanth Reddy trended on the social media and managed to hog the limelight on the electronic media. But, the end turned out to be an anti-climax as both father and the son were non-committal.

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Like UT, BT batches in TRS, what’s in T-Congress?

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In ruling TRS in Telangana, the party leaders and cadre are divided as “UT” and “BT” batches. There is always a conflict between these two groups.

UT batch indicates Udyama Telagnana batch, who include leaders and cadre working in TRS sincerely and committedly since formation of party in 2001, spent their own money on party activities, took part in Telangana statehood agitation, faced police lathis, cases etc but continue to suffer in party even after formation of Telangana State and TRS coming to power in 2014.

BT batch indicates Bangaru Telangana batch, who include leaders and cadre from other parties but defected into TRS after the party came to power in 2014, secured minister, MLA, MLC, MP and all other nominated posts directly and enjoying the power and fruits in Telangana State.

Now, this type of batches are being formed in Telangana Congress after the recent appointment of A Revanth Reddy as TPCC chief.

Telangana Congress leaders and cadre are now talking about “RC” batch and “TC” batch.

RC batch indicates Real Congress batch who include leaders and cadre working in party sincerely and committedly for several decades like Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, V Hanumantha Rao, Sridhar Babu, Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Jana Reddy etc.

TC batch indicates Telugu Congress batch who defected from TDP and now calling the shots in Congress like Revanth Reddy, Seethakka etc.

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High Command’s “Bakra” is angry

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Now that Revanth Reddy’s appointment as the Telagnana PCC chief is a reality, the seniors are trying to adjust their sails accordingly. One after another, senior leaders are falling in line and are acknowledging Revanth Reddy’s leadership. But, one leader is yet to do this. This leader is angry and sullen, but with a strong reason.

The leader in question is T Jeevan Reddy. This MLC from North Telangana has never aspired for a position of power in the party. He is known to be a silent leader, who always believed that his work would speak for himself. He has never indulged in group politics for which the Congress Party is so famous for. He was never in the race for the PCC chief’s post nor did he lobby for it at any stage.

It was the high command that actually told him that he would be made the PCC chief. The High Command at one stage actively considered his name as there was strong opposition from the seniors to Revanth Reddy’s name. The High Command has asked him to take over, but Jeevan Reddy has clearly indicated that he did not want the PCC chief’s post. However, the high command has insisted that he take the responsibility. In fact, it was rumoured that the High Command sent him a sealed cover letter.

But, later in a swift development, the high command announced Revanth as the PCC chief. This made Jeevan Reddy livid and he is said to have given an earful to Telangana incharge Manickam Tagore. It is because of this that he did not attend the programme organized for Revanth Reddy’s taking over . He merely sent a congratulatory message to Revanth Reddy and kept quiet.

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Will Congress’ gamble pay off in Telangana?

Desperate to revive its fortunes in Telangana, the Congress party appears to have taken a risk by appointing firebrand leader Anumula Revanth Reddy as its new state party chief despite his controversial past and ignoring several strong contenders for the post.

Revanth, who has an ABVP background and joined Congress only four years ago, pipped many senior leaders and loyalists to get the key post.

The 53-year-old leader, known for his aggressive style of politics and considered popular among youth, is seen as someone who can lead the Congress to victory in 2023 elections.

The hopes he will re-establish its connect with the voters in its former stronghold and lead it to power, which remained elusive despite the party granting statehood to Telangana.

The Congress suffered crushing defeats at hands of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) both in 2014 and 2018. Reeling under a series of defections and after suffering defeats in by-elections and local body polls, the party’s morale is at its lowest.

The choice of Revanth Reddy, however, raised the question whether he can steer Congress party to a victory in country’s youngest state, whose politics has largely been dominated by TRS under the leadership of K. Chandrasekhar Rao popularly known as KCR.

“Across all regions in the country, the is skidding downwards due to lack of strong leadership at various levels. It needed to take some bold decisions and back them with conviction. Appointment of Revanth Reddy is surely a step in the right direction for the party battling for existence,” said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.

“Congress would have surely assessed the pros and cons before taking this big decision. Revanth will be accountable for a good show in the state even if some senior leaders leave Congress before 2023 polls.”

He believes that Revanth Reddy has the mass appeal and charisma to attract voters towards the party.

“His aggressive style will send a strong message across Telangana and will indicate that Congress is back in the fight and is the real opposition to TRS,” he added.

Revanth’s appointment came at a time when TRS completed half of its second term in power and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is projecting itself as the only viable alternative to TRS. This is also almost coinciding with the entry of Y.S. Sharmila in Telangana politics.

Sharmila, sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and daughter of late Chief Minister of combined Andhra Pradesh Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, is set to float her political party on July 8.

Following its victory in bypoll to Dubbak Assembly seat and impressive performance in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) late last year, BJP was upbeat. However, the TRS bounced back recently by wresting a seat of Legislative Council from the saffron party and retaining Nagarjuna Sagar Assembly seat.

At a time when the BJP is gearing up to wrest another Assembly seat (Huzurabad) from TRS, appointment of Revanth has given new hopes to the demoralised Congress cadres.

Huzurabad seat fell vacant after Eatala Rajender resigned from Assembly after being dropped from the Cabinet by KCR following allegations of land grabbing. Rajender will be contesting the bypoll as the BJP candidate.

The by-election will be the first major test for Revanth Reddy. A bitter critic of KCR and his family, he is known for making sensational allegations against his political opponents.

Immediately after taking over as PCC chief, he claimed that an industrialist close to KCR arranged a chartered flight that brought Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy to Hyderabad from Delhi to hold discussions with Eatala Rajender on his entry into the BJP.

“In the next two-and-a-half years, our fight against KCR will intensify. We will take up public issues of importance and will leave no stone unturned in showing how this government is against Dalits, minorities and tribals,” he said.

However, analysts say his past and the internal bickering in the party could be major challenges for him. Some senior leaders had opposed his candidature stating that he comes from RSS background and was a leader of ABVP in his student days. His alleged involvement in cash-for-vote scam makes him vulnerable to attacks by political opponents.

Revanth Reddy was caught by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in 2015 when as the then leader of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) he offered Rs 50 lakh to a nominated MLA belonging to TRS to make him vote for TDP candidate in Legislative Council election from MLA quota.

Once considered to be a close confidante of TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, Revanth quit TDP to join Congress in 2017. He was elected to Lok Sabha on Congress ticket from Malkajgiri constituency in 2019, a few months after losing Kodangal Assembly seat, which he had won twice as TDP candidate.

Interestingly, Revanth began his political career with TRS in 2003. He later quit TRS after being denied the party ticket. He fought Legislative Council election in 2008 as an independent. The same year he joined the TDP and was elected to Assembly from Kodangal in 2009. He retained the seat in 2014 election.

Differences within Congress over Revant’s elevation to the top post could be a major challenge for him. The central leadership of the party ignored senior leaders like Hanumanth Rao, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, T. Jeevan Reddy, Sreedhar Babu and Madhu Yashki to make Revanth party chief.

Venkat Reddy publicly criticised Revanth’s appointment. He alleged that this happened like ‘cash for vote’ scam and predicted that Congress under Revanth will become an extension of TDP. couple of leaders even quit the party in protest.

Though Revanth is reaching out to senior leaders in the party to win their support, some leaders are trying to avoid him.

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Chiru is in Congress, but is playing mediator between Pawan, BJP

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When Congress senior leader Oomen Chandy visited AP recently, he made a significant remark about Megastar Chiranjeevi. He said Chiru was no longer in the Congress Party. Though PCC chief Sake Shailajanath contradicted this and said that Chiru was still very much with the Congress, Chandy did not retract his words nor did he issue a clarification.

It turns out that Oomen Chandy has some inside information about Chiru’s latest moves.

Of late, top BJP leaders from Delhi are said to be in touch with Chiru. They have been reportedly requesting Chiru to convince Pawan Kalyan to merge his party into the BJP. In return, Pawan Kalyan would be made the state BJP chief and the party will work under him for the 2024 elections. They want Chiru to play the mediator. Chiranjeevi is said to be still in two minds about the proposal. He is said to have discussed the proposal with his close associates and the family members.

Meanwhile, Pawan Kalyan himself is in two minds, whether to join hands with the TDP or merge with the BJP. He is clear that he will have to play a key role in 2024 elections, but whether he should form an alliance with TDP or merge into the BJP is the question before him. Chiru has the experience of negotiating a merger. He had merged his Praja Rajyam Party into the Congress and got ministries for himself and his key colleagues like Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Kanna Babu. So, the BjP wants him to facilitate Pawan’s merger into the BJP.

But those in the know say that Pawan is a tougher customer to deal with compared to Chiru. His conditions would be harder too. Sources say he might demand a position in the Central Government if the BJP-Jana Sena fails to dislodge YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in 2024. He might even ask for the political rehabilitation of his brother Chiru too. It is the inside knowledge of these developments that made Oomen Chandy to say that Chiru is not in the Congress.

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Revanth meets arch rival VH, makes him happy!

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Senior Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao was the one who openly and strongly opposed proposal to make Revanth Reddy as TPCC president since beginning.

Such was VH’s rivalry with Revanth that he lodged police cases against Revanth’s followers who called VH over phone and abused him for opposing Revanth.

But on Monday, Revanth surprised everyone including VH by visiting Apollo Hospital where he is undergoing treatment to enquire about his health and also seek his blessings.

VH was very much impressed with Revanth’s gesture and offered to work together with new TPCC chief to defeat KCR in 2023 Assembly polls.

VH even offered to take Revanth to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in Delhi to discuss on action plan to be adopted to fight against TRS government in future.

Revanth too felt very happy at VH’s response. Revanth praised VH for thinking about Telangana people and Congress even at the time of undergoing treatment on hospital bed.

Revanth said VH inspired him a lot with his commitment towards people and party in Telangana.

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Is this why Congress senior Sridhar Babu ignored?

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One big question that is being asked by several analysts is why young leader and former minister Duddilla Sridhar Babu was ignored by the Congress High Command. While the AICC this time preferred a team of young leaders, it completely sidelined Sridhar Babu. No post was announced and no assurance was given to him.

Highly placed sources say that the main reason why Sridhar Babu was overlooked was his wife. Sridhar Babu’s wife Shailaja Ramaiyer is an IAS office in Telangana and currently the Commissioner of Handlooms and Textiles and Apparel Export Parks. There are rumours that the TRS top leadership is in touch with him through her. While several people close to Sridhar Babu refute these allegations, the high command reportedly received written petitions about Sridhar Babu’s ‘back-door’ links with the ruling TRS.

Sridhar Babu belongs to a diehard Congress family. His father Sripada Rao was the speaker of the AP legislative assembly when he was killed by Maoists. Sridhar Babu was the minister for civil supplies, consumer affairs, legal metrology and legislative affairs in the Kiran Kumar Reddy government. But there have always been rumours of Sridhar Babu being in touch with the TRS leadership through his wife.

Similar allegations of proximity to TRS have marred the chances of senior leader and former MP Ponnam Prabhakar. Both these leaders from Karimnagar are unhappy but may not leave the Congress as of now. They are hoping that they would be rehabilitated by the AICC.

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What will the Congress seniors do now?

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What will the Congress seniors do now in Telangana? They have opposed the appointment of Revanth Reddy as the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee chief. But, the High Command has clearly preferred the young Revanth to the old guard. It feels Revanth can reach out to the youth and ensure that the young and neutral voters turn to the Congress Party in a big way and that he would lead to victory.

But what about the old guard. It’s a huge disappointment for the likes of V Hanumantha Rao, whose objections have been mercilessly set aside. It could well be swansong for him in politics. More than disappointment, it’s a huge shock to Shabbir Ali. This senior Congressman was bypassed by the high command, when it reposed its faith in Mohammad Azharuddin. Interestingly, Azhar is highly inactive and is currently embroiled in a controversy over the Hyderabad Cricket Association. Yet, the high command seemed to prefer him.

As for leaders like Jeevan Reddy and Ponnala Lakshmaiah, they are in the last leg of their political life and hence the high command has chosen to ignore them. Another Congress stalwart K Jana Reddy is already in semi-retirement. He would be satisfied if his son is elevated in the party. Thus, the high command has played its cards well.

It is a clear that the High Command has clearly indicated that it is time for the old guard to make way. Revanth has been given a relatively younger team that can work for at least ten more years in Telangana. Time has come for the Old guard to take a decision in the Congress Party.

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TPCC Chief: Final battle between Revanth Reddy and Komati Reddy

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The announcement of Telangana PCC chief and other posts has been put to shelves several times as the Congress party could not come to the conclusion owing to the Internal differences among the leaders. However it seems Delhi Congress bigwigs have now almost finalised the list. As per the reports the final two considered for the post of Telangana PCC chief are Komatireddy and Revanth Reddy.

Congress party has suddenly become active after BJP getting defeated in West Bengal. Now the grand old party is looking at consolidating the anti-BJP forces across the country and at the same time reviving their own party in various states where it has some stakes. In this backdrop, the party is trying to regain its strength in the state of Telangana and has been mulling over the list of leaders who can help strengthen the party. Sonia Gandhi has been handed over with a list of several leaders selected for various posts, including the TPCC president. The party bigwigs are waiting for her green signal. Other committees,TPCC president, working presidents, faculty and principal secretaries, will also be announced at the same time once Sonia Gandhi gives her nod.

Although the names of several leaders have been nominated for the TPCC presidency, the names of MPs Komatireddy Venkatereddy and Revanth Reddy have been taken for final consideration. Though the names other leaders like of Sridhar Babu, Jeevan Reddy and Madhu Yashki have also been considered, they were taken off from the list for various reasons. However some of them will be accommodated in the posts of working presidents etc. The list of working presidents may include Damodar Raja Narsimha, Balaram Nayak, Konda Surekha, Shabbir Ali, Madhuyashki and Jaggareddy. In addition, more than 30 other leaders will be given the posts of TPCC vice-presidents and principal secretaries. Congress party seems to be following the principle of social justice and is planning to accommodate leaders from SC, ST, and weaker sections in the committees.

However, the cadres of the party are awaiting the decision of their high command. While the youth sections of the party are waiting to see Revanth Reddy in the top post, the older people and the those who have been admiring Congress party for decades are against giving the top post to someone who just joined the party. We need to wait and see who will be the TPCC chief.

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So much action in Telangana, but no key Congress leader in Hyderabad

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The TRS leaders are busy in Huzurnagar with an eye on the soon-to-be-held bypolls. CM KCR is in Siddipet on a four-district tour to drum up support for the party especially in the wake of the rebellion by Eatala Rajender. The BJP is working hard to win Huzurabad and all key leaders are busy strategising. But, what are the Congress leaders doing?

Surprise…surprise. None of the key leader is in Telangana. Everyone who matters in the Congress Party is now camping in Delhi. The reason? To lobby for the Telangana PCC chief post. Key leaders like Nalgonda MP Komatireddy Rajagopala Reddy, Secunderabad MP Revanth Reddy, former minister Duddilla Sridhar Babu, MLC Jeevan Reddy are all camping in New Delhi. They are trying pull all the levers to bag the post of PCC chief.

Insiders say the PCC chief would be announced in a week’s time and the high command is busy studying the possible names for the PCC chief’s post. So, every leader is trying his luck. One leader is busy spoiling the chances of these candidates. He wants a BC to become PCC chief. But, he doesn’t have any name except his own to offer. This leader is V Hanumantha Rao.

For the past one week, all these leaders are staying put in Delhi and are trying to secure the appointment of key leaders. They are trying to argue their case as the PCC chief.

Meanwhile, the PCC chief’s post has been vacant for quite some time. Though Uttam Kumar Reddy is there, he is a stop-gap arrangement and has time and again expressed his willingness to step down. But, the high command is unable to find a suitable replacement. Covid and Nagarjunasagar bypoll too have delayed the appointment. The Congress workers feel that it is time that the high command acted decisively and announced a name for the PCC chief’s post.

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Huzurabad bypolls: Dubbak formula vs Nagarjunasagar formula

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The Telangana Bharatiya Janata Party has begun its preparations for the Huzurabad byelections. The party feels that though Etela Rajender is yet to join the party, the BJP should start the ground work immediately. The BJP feels that it has to implement the Dubbak strategy and not Nagarjunasagar strategy.

In Dubbak, the party began the spade work in the constituency soon after the death of sitting MLA Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy. Raghunandan Rao began meeting people and started wooing them. Even before the election notification was issued, he began his leg work and had covered the whole constituency. In Nagarjunasagar, the party was undecided about the candidate and waited for the TRS and the Congress to announce their candidate. A lot of time was lost in waiting for Jana Reddy or his son Raghuveer to join the party.

Also in Dubbak, BJP leaders adopted a carpet-bombing strategy and one popular leader after another toured the constituency and addressed public meetings. In Nagarjunasagar, fewer leaders campaigned and the fight was half-hearted. Though there was some initial dissidence in Dubbak, the party leadership had put its weight behind Raghunandan Rao. In case of Nagarjunasagar, dissidence and non-cooperation were too conspicuous to be ignored.

The BJP wants to follow the Dubbak model for Huzurabad. Party affairs incharge Tarun Chugh has held a meeting with key party leaders on Thursday and directed them to regularly visit Huzurabad one after another and hold meetings regularly. He also told them to organise party workers meetings on a regular basis. Key leaders were told to undertake an outreach programme in Huzurabad constituency.

The party feels that Dubbak formula will help defeat the ruling TRS. The party feels that the contest would be very keen and that the TRS will marshal all its resources to win Huzurabad. The BJP too should strain its every nerve to wrest Huzurabad, Chugh told the party leaders.

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How BJP’s ‘secret operation’ sent media, Congress into a tizzy?

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The ruling BjP at the Centre has managed to maintain complete secrecy and achieve complete surprise in the Jitin Prasada’s joining of the BJP. That Jitin Prasada was going to join the BJP was made public only after he left his home to meet Minister Piyush Goel.

Operation Jitin Prasada caught the Congress completely by surprise and it had no time to talk to him. The Congress did not have an inkling that Jitin was leaving the party. The BJP talked to him several months ago, but kept in under wraps. No statement was made and there was not even an off-the-cuff remark anywhere.

Even on Wednesday, BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni tweeted about a ‘big personality’ joining the BJP at around 10 am. Since he did not reveal the name, everyone began making guestimates. Many thought it could be Sachin Pilot and started making calls to him. Some felt that since Anil Baluni was from Uttarakhand, the Congressman could be from that state. It was only when Jitin Prasada reached Piyush Goel that it became clear that it was Jitin Prasada. Even before the media could reach Goel’s residence, both Goel and Prasad left for Amit Shah’s residence. Both president Nadda and Amit Shah were not present at the joining. This was done to mislead those who keep a tab on Nadda and Shah.

But why so much secrecy? Last time in 2019, Jitin Prasada wanted to join the BJP. The Congress got wind of it fairly in advance and sent Jyotiraditya Scindia to convince him to stay back in the party. The BJP was left high and dry. So, this time the BJP wanted to outsmart the Congress and the media, which usually tips off Congress about the internal happenings in BJP.

Jitin Prasada is a prize catch as he is a Brahmin and Brahmins are politically very important in UP. With UP going to polls early next year, Jitin Prasada could be a very useful addition.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Why is Revanth Reddy missing from Congress group pic?

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Finally, the Telangana Congress has shown the resolve to take on KCR. It has organised a state-wide satyagraha against the ruling TRS. All major leaders sat together in the dharna and staged protest. Speeches were made and the TRS was roundly criticised. So far so good! But, where is TPCC working president Revanth Reddy ?  Well! Revanth Reddy was conspicuous by his absence.

Revanth Reddy, who is now considered the hot favourite for the post of the PCC chief was not invited to the meeting. The other leaders, who were present, also did not make any announcement as to why Revanth was missing from the group pic.  But, even in his absence, Revanth Reddy was the hot topic of discussion among the Congress circles. The party workers debated over his absence from such an important protest programme.

This has once again exposed the schism in the Congress Party. Young Revanth, who has mass appeal and has considerable support among the youths, is all alone in the party echelons. The leaders in the state unit are clearly not happy with his rise. He has not been invited to the programmes earlier too. This assumes significance as Revanth is tipped to be the next PCC chief.

The Congress leaders, including PCC chief Uttam Kumar Reddy, Malli Bhatti Vikramarka, D Sridhar Babu, Vamshi Chandar Reddy, Ponnala Lakshmaiah and others, sat on a dharna till 1 pm on Monday. The Congress leaders slammed  KCR government for its alround failure to tackle Corona. They expressed alarm at the growth of black fungus cases in the state and said the State Government was doing nothing to salvage the situation. 

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Reviving fortunes in Telangana: An uphill task for Cong

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Seven years after formation of Telangana as a separate state, Congress party is still struggling to regain the lost ground in its former stronghold.

The party’s defeat in the recent by-election to Nagarjuna Sagar Assembly constituency shows that its fortunes in the state continue to plummet.

Reeling under defections of a dozen MLAs to ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) since 2018 Assembly polls and series of electoral debacles since, Congress is facing its worst crisis.

The emergence of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the main opposition party following its victory in Dubbak Assembly by-election and its impressive performance in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls late last year has only added to woes of Congress party.

With the central leadership of the grand old party taking no step to set the house in order in Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC), which remained virtually headless following resignation of Uttam Kumar Reddy in December last year, the party appears to be in a total disarray.

Political analysts say that bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh by granting statehood to Telangana was itself a political gamble by the Congress to arrest the slide in its traditional stronghold. The party was hoping to remain afloat at least in Telangana by claiming credit for carving out the separate state.

However, TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao dashed its hopes by rejecting the proposal to merge his party with Congress. He decided to maintain the identity of TRS as a political party and vowed to transform newly created state into ‘Bangaru Telangana’ or golden Telangana.

KCR, as Rao is popularly known, succeeded in claiming credit for achieving the goal of separate state by winning the public mandate. In 2014 elections, held just before formal bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, TRS won 63 seats in 119-member Telangana Assembly.

The Congress party, which was completely wiped out in Andhra Pradesh due to the public anger over bifurcation, could win 22 seats. However, the party failed to keep its flock together as several of its leaders defected to TRS.

In 2018 Assembly elections, held a few months before the term of the Assembly was to end, Congress faced a disaster. It could win just 19 seats, though it had forged electoral alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and other TRS opponents.

However, the worst was yet to come for the party. Even before it could gear up for Lok Sabha elections in 2019, it had lost as many as 12 MLAs to the ruling party. Though the party salvaged some pride by winning three Lok Sabha seats, with the reduced strength in Assembly it lost the status of main opposition to Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), a friendly party of TRS.

The party suffered a huge embarrassment as it failed to retain Huzurnagar Assembly seat, where by-election was necessitated with the resignation of Uttam Kumar Reddy following his election to Lok Sabha.

The TRS wrested the seat from Congress as its candidate S. Saidi Reddy was elected with a huge margin of over 43,000 votes. Uttam’s wife N. Padmavathi Reddy finished a distant runner-up.

It was in September last year that the AICC named Manickam Tagore as new incharge for Telangana, replacing R. C. Khuntia. However, even his appointment could not stop the party’s slide in the state.

The BJP, which became aggressive following its impressive performance in Lok Sabha polls by winning four seats, added to the worries of Congress. Projecting itself as the only viable alternative, the saffron party started making inroads with ‘Mission 2023′.

The BJP wrested Dubbak from TRS to further consolidate itself. The saffron party, which hardly had any presence in the constituency, pushed Congress party to third position.

The Congress party suffered another humiliation a month later as it could win just two seats in 150-member Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). In its best-ever performance in the civic body, the BJP bagged 48 seats to deny the TRS a clear majority.

The emergence of BJP as the main opposition party sent alarm bells ringing. Owning moral responsibility for the defeat, Uttam Kumar Reddy resigned as the party chief.

The party suffered more blows as it lost several leaders to BJP. They included D. K. Aruna, who was later made national vice president of BJP and actress Vijayashanti.

The beleaguered party faced another jolt late last year when its MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy announced that he would quit the Congress and join the BJP soon.

Rajagopal Reddy stated that the BJP is the only alternative to TRS, as the Congress party had failed to put up a strong fight.

If Rajagopal Reddy defects to the BJP, the Congress will be left with just five MLAs in the Assembly.

Former MP Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, who resigned TRS to join Congress on the eve of 2018 elections, recently quit Congress party and is now working to bring together non-BJP and non-Congress parties against TRS.

Even after six months, the central leadership of Congress party has not named a new state president. The groupism in the party came to fore with leaders lobbying for the posts publicly targeting each other to mar the prospects of their rivals.

Fearing that change of leadership would impact the party’s chances in Nagarjuna Sagar by-election, the high command delayed naming Uttam Kumar Reddy’s successor.
The Congress party was pinning its hopes on this by-election to revive its fortunes in the state. Its leaders were confident that senior leader and former minister K. Jana Reddy will wrest the seat from TRS to give the party a new hope.

However, Jana Reddy, a seven-time MLA lost by over 18,000 votes to TRS debutant Nomula Bhagat, whose father Nomula Narasimhaiah had defeated the Congress leader in 2018.

Narasimhaiah’s death in December last year caused the vacancy and the by-election was held on April 17.

The only solace for the Congress party was that it finished runners-up and BJP was distant third with its candidate forfeiting his deposit.

Political analysts say while it’s not all over for the Congress party, it is facing an uphill challenge to revive past glory in the country and especially in Telangana.

“The party’s decline at the central stage has weakened its position in this State too. But it can revive its position, and the upcoming elections could be one last opportunity to not lost further ground,” said analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.

“Congress still has a fixed vote bank in the country, and more so in Telangana. The party has to ensure it does not slip further and lose its loyal cadre to the ruling TRS or the BJP, which aims to occupy at least the position of main opposition in Telangana,” he said.

The analyst says Congress was suffering due to the delay in naming the new leader and lack of a popular face. “Congress needs to first decide on who would be the face of the party in the next elections, bind all leaders together with the common goal to win in the State. The party should try to ensure that no more prominent leaders leave Congress, but if there are any trojan horses in its ranks, they need to be weeded out sooner than later,” he added.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Telangana Congress seeks CBI probe into advocate couple’s murder

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Telangana’s opposition Congress on Friday submitted a memorandum to Governor, Dr Tamilisai Soundarajan, seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the killing of advocate couple.

A delegation of party leaders led by state party chief Uttam Kumar Reddy met the Governor at Raj Bhavan and submitted her a memorandum for a court-monitored CBI probe into the gruesome murder of Gattu Vaman Rao and his wife Nagamani, who were practicing at the Telangana High Court.

The couple were waylaid and brutally hacked to death in full public view by two assailants in Peddapalli district on February 17.

Police have so far arrested four accused including a mandal-level leader of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), who has been since suspended from the party, and the nephew of another TRS leader and Zilla Parishad chairman Putta Madhu.

Reddy, who is also a Member of Parliament, alleged that the murders are an attack on the legal community to silence them and “prevent them from exposing the massive corruption and misuse of state power”.

The Congress leader alleged that the advocates were murdered to prevent the truth from coming out in the death of Seelam Rangaiah, a Dalit, in police custody.

Reddy told reporters that the Governor responded positively to their demand for the CBI probe.

Alleging that the ruling party leaders are involved in the murder, he said the police were not probing their role.

The state Congress chief said the couple was killed in a pre-planned manner as they had approached the High Court for justice in Dalit youth’s death in police custody and they were also proving hurdle for TRS leaders’ illegal activities in Manthani.

Reddy claimed that Vaman Rao was silenced as he was gearing up for a fight over illegal mining of sand worth Rs 4,000 crore from the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project.

He said Vaman Rao was also exposing the Putta Lingamma Charitable Trust for illegally mobilising funds.

The High Court, which took suo moto cognizance of the double murder on February 18, directed the government to conduct thorough investigation and submit a status report by March 1.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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