Uttam Kumar is deeply upset over campaign that he plans to quit Congress and join BRS

Hyderabad: Upbeat Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) planning to replicate a Karnataka type victory in Telangana State is facing hiccups over internal squabbles.

Overtly democrat among all the political parties in the country, the party, which has hit a purple patch in the electoral politics and lost sway over the country and in many states in the last several years, is trying hard to make a comeback.

Things have been moving in the right direction for the party after party bigwig Rahul Gandhi’s marathon 4,080 km Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu to Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir, sensational win in Karnataka assembly elections against the formidable ruling BJP campaigned by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah among others.

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Karnataka win has raised the spirits of Congress leaders and workers in Telangana State and other parts of the country.

But internal feud is creating problems for the party, especially when rival party leaders are planning to join Congress.

Congress is known for internal squabbles

Known for internal squabbles, open criticism of party leaders barring the Gandhi family, Congress leaders in Telangana are back to “backstabbing” by some, criticism of party leaders and spreading rumours against senior party leaders for selfish motives.

In fact, TPCC president A Revanth Reddy had to face a barrage of criticism from own party leaders and was literally outcast by some eyeing for TPCC chief post.

Now it’s the turn of former TPCC president and MP, Uttam Kumar Reddy and his wife, ex MLA Padmavathi Reddy who had to give an open statement refuting rumours that they were planning to quit Congress and join Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS).

“The reports in media and social media that I am quitting Congress and joining BRS are totally false. Some vested interests are deliberately spreading the rumours without any basis. A party leader in a key position is spreading the rumours to occupy my place. I am the Congress since past three decades and won six elections. My wife Padmavathi Reddy lost by just 100 votes in the 2018 Assembly polls. She is working hard for the growth of the party in Kodad,” he clarified.

He added, “We don’t have children. People are our family and our children. Yet some people are making defamatory statements and spreading canards against us. It’s extremely painful and we are hurt by it.

Some are deliberately spreading the rumour to suppress us and oust us from Congress. I might be unhappy about some issues in the party. I am a 5 time MLA. I strongly condemn the misinformation campaign,” he remarked.

He is not the only Congress leader who faced “he is quitting” rumours. Senior Congress leader and MP Komati Reddy Venkat Reddy, whose brother is in BJP, had to face constant rumours that he may follow his brother, but he denied it repeatedly. Such rumours are spread by rivals who eye MP, MLA tickets for themselves or their kin.

But the fact remains he was sulking since he aspired to become TPCC president which had gone to A Revanth Reddy. In fact, he took a vow never to step into Gandhi Bhavan, Congress headquarters in Telangana State, but he relented and attended meetings.

Congress leaders are on cloud nine after the party’s big win in Karnataka and confident of repeating a similar win in Telangana, though the reality is BRS still has a strong foothold and BJP is slipping, especially after the change of guard from Bandi Sanjay to G Kishan Reddy.

Shabbir Ali says Uttam will not leave party

Senior party leaders dismiss apprehensions of Uttam Kumar Reddy and other such episodes as passing phases. “I can assure you that Mr Uttam Kumar Reddy who held key posts will not quit Congress. He might have some issues, but it will be sorted out within the party. Unlike other parties, our party has more freedom of expression. But when required, all the leaders and cadre will come on one platform and work for the victory of the party,” Mohd Ali Shabbir, former Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader told Siasat.com.

In fact, all eyes are on Jupally Krishna Rao, who quit BRS and decided to join Congress along with others, proposed a public meeting to be addressed by AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi at Kollapur in Mahabubnagar district. Another senior leader Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy and others had quit BRS and joined Congress in the presence of Rahul Gandhi at Khammam recently.

According to Congress sources, Patnam Mahender Reddy, MLC and A Chandrasekhar and others too are likely to join Congress.

“Several BRS, BJP leaders are in touch with Congress high command. They will join the Congress once the party high command gives green signal. The problem is we need to be careful not to upset Congress leaders aspiring for tickets in the coming assembly and Lok Sabha elections,” another senior party leader disclosed.

AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge, AICC in charge of Telangana Manikrao Thakre, TPCC president A Revanth Reddy are preparing to go to people with padayatras and bus yatras along with five main guarantees or sops to people on the lines of Karnataka to win over the people.

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