Congressman A Revanth Reddy’s role as Chairman of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) came under intense scrutiny as a revolt erupted against his leadership in the state Congress.
Just three days after Mongod Kumaterdi Raj Gopal Reddy resigned from Congress, All India Committee (AICC) spokesperson Dr Dassugou Shravan announced his decision to leave the party on Friday night. He also blamed Revanth Reddy for his exit from the big old party which has been reeling from crisis to crisis in Telangana ahead of state assembly elections due next year.
Raj Gopal Reddy’s elder brother, Komatiridi Venkat Reddy, a prominent Congress leader and Member of Parliament from Bhuvanagiri, has also started expressing his dissatisfaction with Revanth Reddy and may resign from the party soon.
Rebellion was brewing at the Telangana Congress long before Raj Gopal Reddy announced his resignation. TPCC sources said nearly all conference leaders had separately appealed to AICC leaders to step in and “rein in” Revanth Reddy. “Except for Digvijaya Singh who tried to speak to Raj Gopal Reddy to persuade him not to resign, no one made any effort or contacted the leaders of the TPCC. Senior Congress leaders in New Delhi are busy organizing protests over the Enforcement Directorate’s questioning of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.”
With the exit of Raj Gopal Reddy, the Congress tally of the Telangana Assembly has fallen to 5 now. In the 2018 elections to the 119 state assembly, the Congress won 19 seats to 88 seats led by Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) led by K Chandrashekar Rao, but 13 MLAs subsequently defected to the latter.
Dr. Saravan announced his decision to leave Congress, and said he felt “suffocated” at the TPCC with Revanth Reddy at the helm. “His (Rivinth Reddy) style of work is not conducive to Congress. He promotes himself and does not take others with him. Nor does he follow the principles and ideals of Congress. There is no place for others beside him.
Raj Gopal Reddy also made similar accusations against Revanth Reddy while leaving the party. Dr. Saravan, Raj Gopal Reddy and Venkat Reddy have claimed that “outsiders” who join the party are being “promoted” and “given preference over loyal members of Congress” who have been with the party for decades. Former TDP leader Revanth Reddy, MP from Malkagiri constituency, has long been targeted by a section of the Telangana Congress for being an ‘intruder’.
On Friday, many Telangana Congress leaders were outraged when the founder of Telangana Inti Party, Shiroku Sudhakar, was brought into the party with the presence of the Rajya Sabha opposition leader, Malekargon outside, in New Delhi. Sudakar made a lot of efforts during the previous elections to defeat congressional candidates. Now, he joined the party and merged his party with the Congress. He will likely get a ticket to compete against Raj Gopal Reddy at Mongodi. Sudhakar was brought into the party by Revanth Reddy to sideline the loyal Congress leaders ”, Kumaterdi accused Venkat Reddy.
A large section of the TPCC leaders have asserted that Revanth Reddy’s style of work is allegedly “authoritarian” and that he makes decisions without consulting other leaders. They have often urged the AICC leadership to replace him as TPCC Chair. Some even found fault with Revanth Reddy when Raj Gopal called Reddy a “traitor” for leaving the party. “Raj Gopal Reddy has been a loyal congressman for decades, calling him a traitor to leave the party has not done well within Congress,” the TPCC leader said.
Facing Revanth’s attack on his brother, Venkat Reddy said the TPCC chief was destroying the party. “By calling out the names of Raj Gopal Reddy, Revanth targeted our family. Congress leaders are tired of him and we are done with him.”
Rivanth then tried to do some damage control and spoke to Venkat, but the latter told him frankly that “all congressional leaders believe it’s time to resign as TPCC chief,” the source said.
On his part, Rivanth Reddy confirmed that he was trying to strengthen the Congress party base in the state while following the instructions of the AICC leadership. “On crucial issues we talk to each other and take collective decisions,” he said when asked about complaints by party leaders about his way of working.
The sources said that senior party leaders in the state like former TPCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy and M Bhatti Vikramarka remained non-committal with the disintegration of party unity in the state.