Hyderabad The growing infighting in the Congress party in Telangana reached the doorsteps of the party’s central leadership as senior leaders rushed to Delhi on Tuesday.
With the party high command taking a serious note of the series of meetings held by dissident leaders who are unhappy with the style of functioning of state party chief A. Revanth Reddy, three senior leaders reached the national capital following summons from the central leaders.
Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and legislator D. Sridhar Babu are likely to meet party MP and in-charge of Telangana affairs Manickam Tagore and other leaders.
Senior leader and former Rajya Sabha member V. Hanumantha Rao has also left for Delhi to seek an appointment with party chief Sonia Gandhi. Party sources said he would submit a letter, listing out the controversial decisions taken unilaterally by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief Revanth Reddy.
Rao rushed to Delhi amid reports that the state leadership is planning to take disciplinary action against him for secretly meeting finance minister and TRS leader Harish Rao a few days ago.
Revanth Reddy and former TPCC chief Uttam Kumar Reddy are already in Delhi for an ongoing Parliament session and they are also likely to meet the central leaders separately to apprise them of the party situation in the state.
Vikramarka, Sridhar Babu and Hanumantha Rao were among the disgruntled leaders who held a series of meetings during the last few days. Calling themselves as Congress loyalists, they criticised Revanth Reddy’s style of functioning.
TPCC working president T. Jayaprakash Reddy (Jagga Reddy) and former minister Marri Shashidhar Reddy were among the participants in the meetings.
Jagga Reddy has been openly criticising Revanth Reddy. Recently, the MLA had announced his decision to quit the party but withdrew the same after intervention by some senior leaders.
Jagga Reddy is angry with the TPCC chief for not consulting him even before organising protests in his Assembly constituency, Sangareddy.
With Jagga Reddy continuing to openly attack him, Revanth Reddy on Monday cracked the whip by stripping him of all of his organisational responsibilities.
This came a day after Jagga Reddy threw an open challenge at Revanth Reddy to field a candidate from the Sangareddy constituency and ensure his victory.
The MLA offered to resign and contest as an independent. “Let Revanth field a candidate of his choice and ensure his victory,” Jagga Reddy had said.
Meanwhile, reacting to the latest development Jagga Reddy vowed to show Revanth his place. The MLA’s outburst is likely to further widen the gap between the dissidents and Revanth and his loyalists.
Jagga Reddy, however, said it was an issue between him and Revanth and the party has nothing to do with it.
Stating that he is ready to work with the PCC chief appointed by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Jagga Reddy blamed Revanth for the present situation.
Revanth, who was appointed TPCC chief in July last year, has been facing a flak from a section of the party leaders for what they call ‘one-man’ show. The appointment of Revanth Reddy, known for his aggressive style, was seen as a bid by the leadership to infuse new life into the beleaguered party in its former stronghold.
Barring a couple of leaders including MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, others had accepted Revanth as the leader though he had come to the party fold only a few years ago after resigning from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
Though Revanth succeeded in mending fences with Venkat Reddy recently, his style of functioning angered a section of seniors. They blame him for the party’s disastrous performance in the by-election to the Huzurabad Assembly seat held late last year.
Concerned over the impact the infighting is having over the party’s image, the central leadership of the party appears to be contemplating some serious action to set the house in order ahead of the next year’s Assembly elections.