First and foremost act of the Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge would be in the States which go to polls next year. The party should be strengthened in these Sates on priority basis. Kharge has a number of challenges before him. But something which should never happen has been happening in Telangana. One of the three Congress MPs and a brother of the BJP candidate in a bye-election in Munugode of Nalgonda district of Telangana was caught on tape asking a minority Congress worker to vote for the BJP candidate. Komatireddy Venkata Reddy, elder brother of Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy, whose defection caused the by-election, boasted in his conversation with a Muslim voter at the behest of Shabbir Ali, a former minister and an established Congress leader, that he would be made PCC President and he would undertake a walkathon in entire Telangana and bring Congress party to power in 2023 elections.
The popular theory making rounds is that most of the senior Congress leaders who are unhappy with the appointment of Revanth Reddy as PCC President want to see that the Congress candidate gets defeated in the by-poll so that the party high command could be impressed to sack Revanth Reddy who could not retain the Congress seat and make someone else the chief. So much so, many senior leaders of the Congress party have not been campaigning for Sravanthi, daughter of late Palvai Govardhan Reddy, former MP, who had good name in the constituency. Some of the leaders are in league with Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) and some are secretly working for the BJP. Shabbir Ali and Mallu Ravi are seen moving close to Revanth Reddy. If the tapes are to be believed, Shabbir also ditched the PCC chief and joined hands with Venkata Reddy.
Revanth Reddy himself said his party leaders are joining hands with the leaders of other parties in order to fail him so that he would be removed from the position. He had tears in his eyes while he said it before party workers.
Senior leaders are taking the party high command for granted and are indulging in anti-party activity with impunity confident that the party would only keep on persuading them to cooperate and would not dare to act against them. Leaders who have secret understanding with KCR outnumber those who are clandestinely working for the BJP. If the party leadership keeps quiet even after the leaders were caught acting against party’s candidate, it will have no future in Telangana. The only option before the party high command is to act against some leaders at least so that the rest would behave.
As a matter of fact, Munugode is a Congress seat. The party there is still popular in spite of the unprincipled leaders. Had the majority of the senior leaders cooperated with the PCC chief and campaigned sincerely, the party candidate would surely win. Revanth Reddy may have made some mistakes, but this is not the time to work against the party candidate and be seen walking with Rahul Gandhi. What Rahul Gandhi said at Warangal public meeting a few months ago should be put in practice. He said there is no question of being friendly with the TRS. He declared that the TRS is the enemy of the Congress. If anyone wants to be friendly with the TRS, he or she is free to leave the party. But the Telangana Congress leaders are clever. They will have relationship with the TRS and yet do not leave Congress. They are paid to work as coverts. Right thing for the party high command would be to show such leaders the door.
The Congress president’s first disciplinary action should be in Telangana. If he dilly dallies and takes no action, there is no redemption for the grand old party. Already, the party has a dubious distinction of allowing its newly elected MLAs to cross over to the ruling party and become ministers. There was no reaction from the leaders and workers of the Congress party when more than half of the MLAs elected on the Congress ticket left the party within months after the elections and joined the ruling TRS. People have been commenting that there is no use of voting for the Congress since there is no guarantee that the Congress MLAs would stick to the party. If the Congress failed to take action against the leaders who deliberately sabotage the party, it cannot hope to perform better in the coming Assembly elections.