Monday, July 15, 2024

Revanth takes over in presence of Sonia

Revanth Reddy has taken oath as chief minister of Telangana on Thursday afternoon. Bhatti Vikramarka was sworn in as deputy chief minister. Ten more ministers have also been given the oath by Governor Tamilisai. The new ministers include Uttam Kumar Reddy who aspired for the top job along with Bhatti. With Revanth emerging as a natural choice for the chief minister’s post within six years of joining the Congress, the two leaders with decades of service to the organizations were reconciled. While Bhatti was made deputy chief minister, Uttam is in the cabinet with important portfolio. Revanth has started his innings with the appointment of Shivadhar Reddy as Intelligence Chief.

The presence of Sonia Gandhi and her two children – Rahul and Priyanka – shows her special relationship with Telangana and their full support to Revanth. Congress president Mallikharjun Kharge and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah have lent experience to the dais. Sonia Gandhi has a special place in the hearts of Telangana people. She is seen as a mother who gave a separate state to the people at the risk of making her own party irrelevant in Andhra Pradesh, the residual state after bifurcation.

Revanth Reddy is the first Congress chief minister of Telangana State. The young and dynamic politician has come up in a hard way. He would be the CLP leader and the chief minister without any ministerial experience. He was an MLA and an MLC, but never a minister. He was in opposition for twenty years. Known to be a confidante of TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu, Revanth has gained the confidence of Rahul Gandhi also in no time. His outspoken nature and the devils may care attitude make him a leader who means business.

Unfortunately, Telangana cannot boast of many established Congress leaders with the kind of positives that Revanth Reddy possesses. The Congress leaders are not in a position to fight the crafty chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) with many of them having clandestine relations with him. The vote share of the Congress party had fallen to less than 25 percent in 2018 assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. It had become listless over the years without any semblance of fighting spirit. At the time when the popularity of the grand old party was at its lowest, Revanth joined it in 2017.  He lost to BRS in 2018 assembly elections but soon won in Lok Sabha elections from Malkajgiri constituency in Hyderabad city. Chandrababu Naidu’s friendship with the Congress during the 2018 assembly elections damaged the prospects of the latter. But his protégé  Revanth’s joining  helped galvanise the party making it fighting fit.

Revanth is keen on emulating YS Rajasekhar Reddy’s record taking care of the welfare and the development earning the goodwill of the people. He has been known to be indulging in real estate business cutting corners and was caught in ‘note for vote’ incident the case about which is pending with the Supreme Court. Let the law take its course. What the people of Telangana expect from the new dispensation?

The vote on November 30 was for the self-respect and transparency. The new chief minister should meet the people, intellectuals and his own MLAs on a regular basis. He should revive the democratic institutions such as Lok Ayukta (by following Karnataka model where the office of the chief minister comes  under the purview of the monitoring body), Human Rights Commission and RTI. Fulfilling the promises made to the people in the election campaign is a big task in itself. With the welfare taking the major chunk of the cake, precious little will be left in the budget for development. It is not going to be easy for the government to manage the finances. The power sector is perilous and it cannot be ignored. Less talk about the irrigation projects, the better. Land issues are very important. Overall, Revanth and his team face a daunting task and they need all the luck.

K. Ramachandra Murthy
K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor


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