Race for post of TPCC president heats up

Every contender for the post has lodged a complaint with the party high command on their ‘rival’

With the change in Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) leadership looking imminent, after series of losses from Assembly polls in 2018 to the recent Huzurnagar by-elections, the race suddenly is getting hot as every leader fancies a chance.

The change may not brighten up the party’s chances immediately for the ensuing municipal elections, but the new leader will have enough time to prepare his or her war strategies for the electoral battle that would unfold four years ahead when the State will go for Assembly elections in 2023.

Demand for complete overhaul of the party structure in the State is gaining ground. Party cadres are firm that the change should be uniform from the top to bottom, including AICC in-charge for the State.

Lok Sabha results

The only positive sign for the party in the last six years has been the three Parliament seats it won against all odds. But those wins are more attributed to innate strengths of candidates — N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, A. Revanth Reddy and Komatireddy Venkat Reddy — and of course party network being an additional advantage.

Though there is no clarity on who will lead the party in the near future there is enough clarity among the leaders here to spoil the chances of others, according to a senior party functionary. The party high command is flooded with complaints by aspirants against their rivals.

Young guns in the party argue that despite the significant growth of the BJP in the State for several reasons Congress remains the real challenger to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s leadership. But mere criticism of KCR will not bring back party’s glory and it has to constantly build up movements on public issues of which there is no dearth.

They recall how Marri Chenna Reddy humbled N.T. Rama Rao in 1989 with massive people-contact programmes and also Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy who defeated N. Chandrababu Naidu with an innovative Padayatra personally meeting millions of voters.

Sweat and toil

“None of those leaders confined themselves to Gandhi Bhavan but had to sweat it out for success,” they say with some sarcasm.

Those who believe that the Congress has to work towards becoming a real alternative to the TRS rather than just blindly believing that it is the only alternative, argue that the party needs a leader who is looking to give four years of hard work from now on.

The financial strength of the next chief or his ability to shore up resources is equally important as funds will further dry up from the central leadership. “You have to match with the resources of your opponents as well. TRS and BJP are financially strong to meet any challenge,” a Youth Congress activist argues.

Young blood

Moreover, the TRS leadership will be in young hands as well in the form of K.T. Rama Rao and also the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) where the young leaders are actually calling the shots now. “You need to match them with young blood as well,” said a senior Congress leader wishing anonymity. But not so quite unusually, all senior leaders have thrown their hats into the ring with the usual threatening tone that ‘He is not the right choice but just me’.

The party perhaps needs serious thinking on who fits the bill in the complex situation the party now finds itself in. Revanth Reddy, Komatireddy Venkata Reddy, D Sridhar Babu, V. Hanumantha Rao, Shashidhar Reddy, AICC secretaries — Madhu Yaskhi Goud and A. Sampath Kumar and T. Jayaprakash Reddy are presently known to be aspiring for the post.

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