KCR’s watchful eye turns to Congress resurgence in key districts
KCR has alerted ministers Puvvada Ajay Kumar and T Harish Rao, and MPs Nama Nageswara Rao and Vaddiraju Ravichandra to focus on securing a majority of the seats in crucial districts.
HYDERABAD: After announcing its list of candidates, the ruling BRS has turned its attention towards specific districts where internal reports suggest a resurgence of the Congress. Understandably, districts known to be Congress strongholds, such as Khammam, Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar, are on the radar of the pink party. Sources say that the Congress is gaining traction in these erstwhile districts, tapping into its voter base from the undivided Andhra Pradesh era.
The reports prompted BRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao to take action, particularly due to the emergence of dissident pink party leaders extending support to the Congress after their names did not figure in the list of candidates. Acknowledging the Congress’s growing influence, KCR has reportedly directed his ministers to allocate extra effort in constituencies in these particular districts.
The ministers have their task cut out as Nalgonda MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy, confident of his party’s prospects, is actively working to ensure a sweeping victory in his Lok Sabha segment, while Bhongir MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy is leveraging his grassroots network to fortify the Congress position.
In Mahbubnagar, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief Revanth Reddy is dedicating considerable time to welcoming prominent leaders into the party fold.
Notable figures like former MLA Gurunath Reddy from Kodangal and Jupally Krishna Rao from Kollapur have already aligned with the Congress. Rajesh, the son of MLC K Damodhar Reddy, has joined the grand old party in Nagarkurnool, while efforts are being made to bring Kothakota Seetha Dayakar Reddy on board for the Devarkadra or Makthal segment.
Additionally, two BJP candidates who offered stiff competition in the previous elections are reportedly considering a switch to the Congress. Revanth, recognising the district’s significance, is determined to secure a majority of the segments. In Khammam, the BRS list announcement spurred former minister Thummala Nageswara Rao to declare his intention to contest for the Palair seat.
Thummala firm on contesting from Palair
Notably, former MP Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy and other potential candidates, coupled with the district’s historically strong Congress vote bank in 2014 and 2018, present a considerable challenge for the ruling party. CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka’s commanding presence further complicates matters for BRS in Khammam district. As a result, BRS leadership has engaged in discussions with Thummala, offering alternatives like an MLC post. However, Thummala’s camp remains resolute in contesting the elections. The Congress has extended an invitation to Thummala, and his potential inclusion poses a threat to the BRS, especially in segments dominated by Kamma voters.
KCR has alerted ministers Puvvada Ajay Kumar and T Harish Rao, and MPs Nama Nageswara Rao and Vaddiraju Ravichandra to focus on securing a majority of the seats in these crucial districts.
As the situation in the ruling party grows tense, Ajay Kumar and his colleagues like G Jagadish Reddy, Niranjan Reddy and Srinivas Goud are working to bridge internal gaps for optimal results.
Simultaneously, MLAs from Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar are actively identifying Congress leaders with strong grassroots influence at both the mandal and community levels. Their recommendations are being forwarded to the BRS high command, aiming to draw these influential leaders into the party and enhance their electoral prospects.
Recently, MLA Kalvakurthy Jaipal Yadav played an instrumental role in welcoming ZPTC member Uppala Venkatesh into the party, a move that had been initially discussed with BRS working president KT Rama Rao. Rangineni Abhilash Rao, an aspirant for the Kollapur Assembly, transitioned from a Congress general secretary to a member of the BRS in the presence of Harish Rao.