Thursday, May 6, 2021

Manickam Tagore consults Congress seniors

  • Trying for consensus on TPCC president post
  • Many leaders claim the mantle
  • Commitment and loyalty lacking among leaders

AICC in-charge for Telangana State Manickam Tagore has been consulting  the Congress leaders to know their opinion on the question of TPCC leadership in the wake of Uttam Kumar Reddy relinquishing the office taking moral responsibility for the debacle the party suffered in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections recently.

The best thing would have been to take this setback as an opportunity to revive organizational elections and elect the TPCC president. Consultations with Members of Parliament, MLAs and MLCs is the second best thing. The worst is an appointment by acting president of the party Sonia Gandhi to be read out by the AICC representative from the slip he took out from his pocket. The Congress party under Sonia Gandhi for the last two decades has been used to the last method of AICC representative announcing the name of the TPCC leader. Had they opted for the first method even now, people would have thought that the party has gone to the basics of internal democracy. Manickam Tagore is on a three day schedule of meeting the senior Congressmen from Telangana to sound names. The problem the AICC in-charge has been facing is that every leader is suggesting his own name instead of supporting another leader.

Although the party has been suffering electoral losses almost continuously for more than six years, the race for the top post is very  strong. Many leaders Manickam Tagore had met on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning had expressed their opinions frankly.  One Congress leader said, “When Kometireddy Venkata Reddy and Revant Reddy are in race, why cannot I propose my own name. I am a better speaker and I have influence in a couple of districts besides my own. I have right connections in Delhi.”

Connections in Delhi certainly matter in case of election to the post of TPCC president since it is not really election but only a selection. Besides Revant and Venkat Reddy, other contenders include Bhatti Vikramarka  of Madhira and  D. Sridhar Babu of Manthani. If one has to go by castes, anyone from Reddy community would be better since many from that Community are ready to jump the ship and join the BJP. A Reddy TPCC president may persuade his caste-fellows to stay back with the Congress and fight. Madhu Yaskhi, Jaggareddy  (Jayaprakash Reddy) and Ponnam Prabhakar, who are connected to Delhi, have never hesitated to propose their names for the top post. Jeevan Reddy from Jagityal is one leader who does not propose his name but has the material required to lead the party in difficult times. Former Dy CM Damodar Rajanarasimha is another leader who is prepared to lead the party if asked.

There is no dearth of leaders in the Congress party. There is lack of commitment that is seen in leaders of the parties like the BJP. In the given conditions when the BJP is on the upsurge and the TRS using all its might to defend its fort, the Congress needs a leader of substance besides a band of committed, selfless leaders to stand by the new president. Is it asking for too much?

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