TDP’s Revanth Reddy may join Congress, but is that enough to revive the party in Telangana?

Though Revanth Reddy has been denying it, the decision to shift seems to have been made.
TDP’s Revanth Reddy may join Congress, but is that enough to revive the party in Telangana?
TDP’s Revanth Reddy may join Congress, but is that enough to revive the party in Telangana?
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Indicating a major shift in Telangana politics, Revanth Reddy, the state Working President of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) seems to be all set to switch his allegiance to the Congress.

Several reports suggest that his recent Delhi tour was to hold a final round of talks with the Congress leadership about joining the party as early as November 2017.

Despite repeated denials from Revanth Reddy, there is a strong buzz that leaders from the Reddy community were coming together against K Chandrasekhar Rao, and joining the Congress was an option that many were mulling.

Earlier, Revanth had claimed that the Reddys had lost political power in both the Telugu states following bifurcation. However, in an interview to a Telugu channel, he was quick to add that labelling him a ‘Reddy leader’ was a tactic of his political adversaries.

Revanth Reddy, the MLA representing Kodangal assembly constituency in Mahaboob nagar district,  was arrested in the ‘Cash for Vote’ scam in 2015.

The 47-year-old leader, who is also the floor leader of the TDP in the State Assembly, has always been at the forefront fiercely attacking policies of the KCR government.

While Telangana state-in-charge RC Khuntia did not give a direct response to the speculations, he did say that many leaders from different parties, including the TDP, BJP, and YSRCP, are in touch with the Congress. 

"We don't have any conditions for anyone joining the party. We will welcome any person who has trust in the party," he said.

When TNM contacted E Peddireddy, a senior TDP functionary, he claimed that these were “baseless speculations”.

He added that he was in touch with Revanth Reddy and they were taking decisions regarding the party collectively.

A recent survey by Bengaluru-based ‘Political Quotient’ stated that Revanth was the second most preferred person as the next Chief Minister of Telangana; KCR had taken the number one spot.

For the Congress, roping in a vociferous leader like Revanth, who has a strong followership, will help fill their leadership vacuum to a large extent. The party that had lost its significance post bifurcation is trying to claw its way back.

It will help the Congress

Many political observers feels that Revanth moving to the Congress will bolster the party’s position in Telangana.

Senior political observer and journalist Telakapalli Ravi said, "It’s almost confirmed that Revanth will join the Congress. Though it will boost the Congress and bring a ray of hope, it still may not be enough to make the Congress a winning horse"

They possibility of Revanth joining the Congress will raise more than a few eyebrows since the former, at one point, was a staunch opponent of the party. "To defeat KCR or TRS, one needs a strong party. And for Revanth, there is no other alternative apart from the Congress if he wants to defeat TRS," Ravi said.

Speaking about the caste equation, Ravi added that "though the Reddys might get influenced by Revanth's entry into Congress, the Congress needs to consolidate the voters from other sections if they want to unseat KCR."

Future of TDP ?

Despite being known as a party representing "OBC's and weaker sections", TDP has lost its significance in newly formed Telangana with many of its leaders switching to the ruling TRS. Observers feel that in a way KCR was successful in dubbing the TDP as the anti-Telangana party even after the bifurcation.

Senior journalist K Nageshwar believes that the TDP has been facing a crisis since the formation of a separate state.

"After the separation of Andhra from Madras, the Tamil parties kept active in the Madras region. Similarly the TDP is confined to Andhra and has not been able to gain ground in Telangana. It is fading from the political scenario of Telangana," he remarked. 


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