Will carry Gaddar’s legacy forward: Daughter Vennela on ‘Congress ticket’

Speaking to Siasat.com, Vennela said that she only heard about the possible development from the media but nothing reached her from Congress itself, yet.

Hyderabad: As elections are fast approaching in Telangana, the Congress is attempting to get its caste calculus together by wooing Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and the Muslim community in the state, which holds the capacity to turn tables in its electoral battle with the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

As part of this process, the grand old party is reportedly considering the kin of revolutionary balladeer, activist, folk singer, and late Gummadi Vittal Rao, popularly known as Gaddar for the SC-reserved Secunderabad Cantonment ticket.

Some media reports suggested that the Congress leadership is likely to choose Gaddar’s daughter Vennela over her brother Suryam, but also that the decision will be left to the late activist’s family.

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Speaking to Siasat.com, Vennela said that she only heard about the possible development from the media but nothing reached her from Congress itself, yet.

“We learned of the development through local media and are grateful that the Congress is considering our family for a ticket,” she added.

Stating that the family was eager to carry forward Gaddar’s legacy, she said the family is open to the idea of contesting the polls if they are offered a space.

“The media has been kind enough to say that I was the first preference. My brother and I are certain that we want to enter this battlefield and will take up the opportunity if Congress offers it to us,” she added.

Gaddar’s tryst with Congress

It’s no secret that late Gaddar saw Congress as a viable alternative to the ruling BRS dispensation, especially during his last days.

People close to the late activist like Telangana Praja Samithi (TPS) chief Professor Kodandaram had said that, even a few days before his last surgery, Gaddar expressed keenness to join hands with the Congress as part of his efforts to bring down the KCR-led BRS from power.

The party also made sure to pay respect to the deceased activist on major occasions.

Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi met the deceased activist’s family during the recent Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting organised in Hyderabad and consoled the family.

Despite Gaddar’s support towards the Congress, he never joined the party. In fact, in 2018, he rejected the party’s offer to contest the Assembly elections and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

More recently, he was linked with evangelist KA Paul’s Praja Shanthi Party.

The Congress appears not only to be strategically targeting the consolidation of the pro-communist and anti-incumbency votes by offering a ticket to Gaddar’s family but also keeping in mind his caste identity as a Dalit.

Gaddar Praja Party and its future

A couple of months before his demise, Gaddar had announced the formation of the Gaddar Praja Party stating that it would contest in the upcoming elections.

His daughter Vennela said that even though works are underway on her father’s party idea, it is not feasible for it to join the race in the upcoming polls.

“It’s not an easy process to form and run a political party. But we want to carry forward our father’s legacy and if Congress does offer us the opportunity, we will ensure that we serve society and fulfil our father’s purpose,” Vennela said.

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