Jana Reddy’s ‘jana or nahiN jana’ situation holds Congress in self damaging balance

Hyderabad: It is a long time that the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy resigned from his post following his party’s disastrous performance in the recently concluded Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls. Though, it has set the cat among pigeons, there is no news yet on his successor. 

In fact, infighting has erupted within the State Congress committee on who will take charge as the party leader. While TPCC working president A. Revanth Reddy’s nomination seemed almost certain, internal opposition had later thrown up party MLC Jeevan Reddy’s name as a contender. 

Currently, the decision to pick a new name is on hold, as former MLA and state minister Jana Reddy had written to the Congress command asking it to put things on hold until the upcoming Nagarjuna bye-election is over. “It has become a tamasha of sorts,” remarked a senior Congress leader, when contacted. Though not willing to be named, he added that the new TPCC chief may not be either of the names. 

“It was understood that the name of Revanth Reddy was suggested by the AICC general secretary K. C. Venupogal. Apparently there was a feeling that the process was not done properly. Another two rounds followed on the telephone,” the Congress leader told siasat.com. He added that people in the party are skeptical about Revanth as he has serious cases pending against his name and that he has a history of jumping ship. 

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As far as Jeevan Reddy is considered, while he is an old Congress hand and a fairly grounded leader in his home constituency of Jagtial, the MLC is reportedly not that keen on taking up the TPCC mantle. However, more importantly, it is to be seen what Congress leader Jana Reddy, whose home constituency is the Nagarjunasagar assembly seat, has to say. 

Will Jana Reddy quit Congress or stay put?

The strong buzz in political circles is that even the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was looking to get Jana Reddy on their side, as they do not have a strong candidate for the bye-poll. The BJP, which is now looking to replace the Congress as the main opposition, ˙has also been reportedly negotiating with him for the same. 

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“What we are hearing is that Jana Reddy has asked the BJP for a governor post and for his son to be given the bye-poll ticket. With the TRS, he has apparently asked for a Rajya Sabha seat, apart from his son contesting. However, we have to see what happens,” informed the Congress leader. 

However, most importantly, without a new chief, the Congress is likely to decay further, as it has been doing so in Telangana since 2014. Under Uttam Kumar Reddy (who is also the Lok Sabha member of Parliament from the Nalgonda seat), the Congress lost the 2018 state elections and managed to win just three parliamentary seats. Worse, 12 of the 19 MLAs in the state also defected to the TRS. 

Uttam Kumar Reddy had resigned from the Huzurnagar assembly seat after winning the Nalgonda Lok Sabha seat in 2019. However, his popularity took a beating when his wife Padmavathi contested from Huzurnagar seat in the bye-election and lost by a huge margin of over 40,000 votes to the TRS.

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