HYDERABAD: CHIEF Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, with his decision to terminate more than 48,000 RTC workers, has unwittingly handed over a trump card to Congress at a time when the latter party is intensifying its campaign to retain the Huzurnagar Assembly seat.
Until a few days ago, the grand old party was struggling to find a weapon to nail the TRS government. But now, with the RTC strike in sight, the Congress is planning to make it a major poll agenda to corner the pink party.
TPCC chief and Nalgonda MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy, whose wife Padmavathi Reddy is the party’s candidate in Huzurnagar, has already begun using it as a weapon to target the TRS. He had reportedly asked his team to take the issue to every nook and corner of the constituency and convince people about the need to defeat the pink party candidate in the bypoll.
He cautioned people of Huzurnagar not to fall prey to KCR’s false promises as he would not keep his word and neglect the constituency once his candidate wins the poll. “He will dump you after getting your votes, the same way he dumped the RTC workers. When he could so easily cheat the RTC employees, who stood behind him during the Telangana movement, what is the guarantee that he would keep his promises in Huzurnagar?” he asked, during a campaign.
In fact, Uttam had already appealed to the CPI, which had decided to support TRS candidate in the Huzurnagar bypoll, to reconsider its support to the pink party candidate. “CPI has been fighting for the rights of workers since time immemorial. If it extends support to the TRS while the government is trampling on workers’ rights, this will be blot on CPI,” he said. Even Bhongir MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, during his campaigning in Huzurnagar, was seen targeting TRS on RTC issue.
With the government’s image taking a beating due the decision, the Congress leadership is expecting Huzurnagar voters to lean towards it. On the other hand, the chief minister’s actions have put pink party leaders in a spot. They are unable to defend his decision while campaigning in Huzurnagar. The TRS has deputed over 30 leaders to oversee campaigning and ensure party candidate S Saidi Reddy’s victory.
After the Dasara festival, the Congress is planning to project TRS as anti-peoples’ party citing sacking of RTC employees as example. In the next few days, it would be known whether the grand old party’s strategy using the RTC issue would work in its favour or not.