After its debacle in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, the Congress is looking for a new guard in Telangana. The party’s poor performance has not only dejected the cadres but also compelled the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee state President, Captain Uttam Kumar Reddy, to resign from his post.
Following Uttam's resignation, several major leaders, mainly from the Reddy caste, are eying the position. The appointment of a new PCC chief could very well decide the fortunes of the party in the 2023 Assembly elections against the backdrop of a rising BJP in the state.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) Telangana in-charge Manickam Tagore had a series of consultations and discussions with the party seniors about potential candidates to lead the party in the state. According to highly placed sources, the top brass in the state are engaging with the high command in New Delhi in order to arrive at a decision.
So far, Malkajgiri MP Revanth Reddy and Bhongir MP Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy, former Minister Duddilla Sridhar Babu, V Hanumantha Rao (VHR) and a few others are in the fray. It is said that a section of Congress leaders are urging the high command to appoint a leader who has risen from the party ranks. A senior leader told TNM that the party should consider leaders who work for party interests instead of personal interests.
While Revanth Reddy is known to be a pan Telangana face, MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy is a more well-known senior leader than the former. Speaking to TNM, senior Congress leader VHR said that the party high command will take a decision considering everything about the candidate’s contribution to the party.
When asked about the multiple names in the reckoning, he said, "The media is asking if I will quit the party if one leader is given the PCC chief... why would I quit." VHR was hopeful that the party will take the right decision.
The tiff over the PCC chief position appears to have escalated, with leaders heading to New Delhi and seeking an appointment with AICC President Sonia Gandhi. It is expected that the party will announce the appointment later in this month. However, it is also expected that a significant number of Congress leaders will join the BJP after the announcement of the PCC chief.
Gudur Narayana Reddy, senior Congress leader who recently shifted loyalties to the BJP, said in a conversation with TNM that there are several leaders who are waiting to join the BJP. Reddy said, "Congress's image has been blemished in Telangana. To counter KCR in the state, it requires BJP not Congress. Many MLAs joined the ruling TRS soon after winning, people also understood this."