Uttam Kumar formally named TPCC chief

HYDERABAD: The AICC on Monday officially anointed Uttam Kumar Reddy as the president of Telangana Pradesh State Congress Committee, replacing Mr.A� Ponnala Laxmaiah. A�A�The partya��s central leadership has also appointed Mr. Mallu Batti Vikramarka as the TPCC working president.

The revamp of the TPCC, was announced after AICC President Sonia Gandhi held discussions with the Telangana Congress leaders and also senior central party functionaries. The State party had been facing severe criticism and ridicule from all quarters both in the state and at theA�Centre for its inability to take on the TRS Government.

Apart from Mr. Ponnala Laxmaiah several senior Congress leaders including K. Jana Reddy, V. Hanumantha Rao, Shabbir Ali besides Uttam Kumar Reddy and Batti Vikramarka attended the brainstorming meeting with Sonia Gandhi.

Sources said Ms.A�Sonia Gandhi expressed concern over the party leadersa�� failure to effectively serve as the principal opposition and highlight various issues affecting the people, especially farmers. She advised party leaders to firmlyA�stand by the people in taking up their causes with the Telangana Government.

Fifty-two year old Uttam Kumar Reddy is a former Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter pilot and was elected as MLA four times and served as minister in the Kiran Kumar Reddy Government. He now represents Huzurnagar Constituency in Nalgonda District. Ahead of the general elections last year, the party leadership had named him as the working president while appointing Mr. Ponnala Laxmaiah as the chief. Reddya��s wife is also an MLA from Kodad.

Mr. Bhatti VikramarkaA�(51)A�was elected as MLC once and as MLA two times. Bhatti, a dalit legislator from Madhira constituency in Khammam district, is presentlyA�the CLP Secretary.A� In the previous Congress Government, he served as the Deputy Speaker and Chief Whip too. A�(NSS)

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