To put it symbolically, the Congress tri-colored palm has shoved the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) car off the highway. And the credit undoubtedly goes to Anumula Revanth Reddy. Given the party chief’s office in 2021, he turned a knackered party into a robust and electrifying team, bagging 64 seats in the 119-seat Telangana Assembly polls.
He was considered a lightweight of a party in its death throes by KCR and his aides, who misread the ground realities, zeroing in on BJP while unbeknownst Revanth Reddy, like a whirlwind, blew away BRS into an Opposition party from being the ruling one.
As his bosses in Delhi rewarded Revanth with the chief ministership of Telangana, the quick change of guard at all levels cheered some and despaired others of the bureaucracy and administration. The latest is the immediate rescinding of appointments of chairpersons of 54 various corporations. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.
Starting with an ‘assault’ on Pragathi Bhavan, demolishing the wired barricades set up to prevent the entry of commoners to the exclusive KCR durbar and renaming it as ‘Jyotira Phule Praja Bhavan’, the Maha Lakshmi scheme providing free bus rides to females and transgenders, and five more welfare schemes in the pipeline (Rythu Bharosa, Gruha Jyothi, Indiramma Indlu, Yuva Vikasam and Chetuta Rajiv Aarogyasri), Revanth is on the roll.
But, on the other hand, when the schemes are implemented, the cost on the state exchequer would be a staggering Rs. 35,000 lakh crore in the next five years. According to reports, the fully functional Maha Laksmi free bus travel scheme will deprive the TSRTC of Rs 2,800 crore annual revenue from female passengers alone. According to media reports, the corporation is in the red to the tune of Rs 6,000 crore.
Revanth Reddy should adopt a stay-put policy for the rest of the promises unless he wants to be in the league of Prime Minister Modi who is the ‘butt of jokes’ and ridiculed for his 2014 unkept promise of bringing black money and depositing Rs 15 lakhs to every citizen’s bank account.
Reddy has a long way ahead. Another one thousand eight hundred and nineteen days to rule the roost. Hasty and unthoughtful political decisions and change just for the sake of change do not bring the desired results.
Congress is aware of the Muslim tilt in favour of his party, and it should pay back in kind with a ministerial birth. Congress had fielded two Muslim candidates — the former golden boy of Indian cricket Mohammed Azharuddin from Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad and Mohammed Ali Shabeer former Congress minister from Nizamabad Urban. However, Revanth Reddy, even before the poll results were announced, predicted the defeat of the two on social media blaming AIMIM chief Asaduddin and accusing him of working for the BJP.
In hindsight, Revanth Reddy has escaped the burden of having the two onboard, who carry a lot of baggage. More than ministerial births, the Telangana Muslims need redressals of problems plaguing them for long and not attended to properly by earlier governments. Past experiences of having Muslims in cabinet positions were not encouraging and fruitful for the community. Revanth can himself take up on priority issues that confront the minorities in the state. And by putting the right persons in several government corporations.