Amid speculation of a possible change of guard in the Congress state unit, Pradesh Congress Committee president Botcha Satyanarayana has started doing rounds in the national capital.
The PCC chief, who left for Delhi on Saturday to meet the AICC top brass, had a lengthy audience with AICC point man Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday night soon after landing in Delhi.
He briefed Azad on the political situation in the state and submitted a report on the party’s position and its victory in the recent cooperative polls besides expressing his view on the Telangana issue.
Though it is not yet clear whether the PCC leadership issue has figured in the discussions, all eyes, however, are now on whether the high command would take a call on continuing Botcha as the state party chief or not.
Botcha has courted controversy of late with his remarks on the Delhi gang rape, the Telangana issue and on the expulsion of nine pro-Jagan Mohan Reddy MLAs from the Congress.
Though Botcha retracted from his aggressive posture against the nine pro-Jagan MLAs, it is learnt that the high command was not happy with the remarks.
Moreover, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s camp also reportedly complained against the “off-the-cuff” remarks of Botcha to the high command. They contended that by saying that he would expel nine pro-Jagan MLAs from the Congress, the PCC chief wanted to push the government into minority. Following this, the AICC leadership is said to be mulling over change of guard at the PCC level, party leaders say.
Another reason for the growing speculation is AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi’s call at the recent Jaipur Chintan Shivir for ‘one man, one post’ at all levels in the party.
In fact, it is being said that Botcha has already been told to make a choice, and that he is likely to keep his ministerial berth and give up the PCC chief post. As if suggesting that the change of guard is imminent, lobbying has intensified for the PCC chief post with minister Kanna Lakshminarayana, deputy speaker Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and former MP Mallu Ravi putting in all efforts to land the job. Union minister K Chiranjeevi, a Kapu, is reportedly backing Kanna’s candidature.
However, senior Telangana leaders feel that in the event of a change the top post would go to a Telangana leader as all the key posts in the state like chief minister, PCC chief and speaker are now being held by Seemandhra leaders.