Rama Krishna Sangem
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s appointment as in charge of Telangana and Karnataka will definitely cheer up the party cadre. The Congress Working Committee which met in Delhi on August 13, Saturday took the decision to this effect. This is the first time Priyanka will be coming to Southern states as party in charge. Till now, she confined to Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
Whether her presence in Telangana will help the party win Munugole assembly by-election will be the debating point among the political circles. This by-poll which is expected to take place sometime in November this year is happening due to the resignation of sitting MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy. He will be contesting from the seat on BJP ticket, while Congress is yet to select a candidate.
Till now Congress in Telangana is left without a charismatic face to lead the party, after Sonia and Rahul have become scare to canvass for in elections. Priyanka’s entry as in charge will certainly alter the present power equations in Telangana Congress, which is fraction ridden. AICC in charge and MP Manickam Tagore looks after the State affairs, while KC Venugopal is the point man at the high command level.
If Priyanka takes care of the day to day happenings in Telangana Congress, the role of other intermediaries will be cut short. Though her track record in UP is not that impressive, it will be a different case in Telangana. Most of the secondary level leaders and lower rung cadre will be enthused by her presence here. Fence sitters like MLA Jagga Reddy will think twice before switching sides.
To start with, Priyanka will be faced with a messy situation in Telangana Congress. Senior leader and Nalgonda MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy is demanding an outright apology from PCC president Revanth Reddy for comments made against him by a party activist at a party rally in Munugode last week. Addanki Dayakar who made those objectionable comments has already apologised, but Venkat Reddy is insisting on his expulsion from the party.
Till now Rahul Gandhi is well versed with Telangana politics and knows most of Congress leaders here. But he got fed up with their factional feuds. Now, Priyanka has to familiarize herself with Telangana leaders and understand the local politics. It may take time. The impending Munugode by-election will be a test to her. Whether or not her presence helps Congress win the seat, one thing is certain – it will unite the warring groups in the party.