HYDERABAD / SURYAPET: By the evening of a tension-filled day, the Telangana Congress leadership was in a position to heave a sigh of relief, having managed to convince almost all rebels of note to withdraw their nomination papers.
To do so, the high command pressed into service its seasoned negotiators such as Rohit Chaudhary, Mallu Ravi and Manikrao Thakre, who utilised all tools at their disposal, including promises of a future ticket and playing the loyalty card.
By the evening, rebels such as Patel Ramesh Reddy in Suryapet were no longer in the fray. Ramesh Reddy had filed his nomination papers as he was unhappy with the party’s decision to give the ticket to Ramreddy Damodar Reddy.
To prevent a split in votes, the Congress leadership dispatched AICC secretary Rohit Chaudhary and TPCC senior vice president Mallu Ravi to convince him to withdraw his nomination. The delegation spoke at length to the rebel, promising him a 2024 Lok Sabha ticket. However, Ramesh Reddy remained adamant, reminding them he was promised the same ticket in 2018. Mallu Ravi then presented a letter from Nalgonda MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy recommending Ramesh Reddy for the Nalgonda LS ticket.
A video in which Ramesh Reddy and his family members were seen in tears after being denied the ticket, had gone viral last week. On Wednesday, he was in tears again as he conveyed to the media his decision to withdraw his nomination in favour of Damodar Reddy.
The party also faced rebel trouble despite distancing itself from the CPM to prevent internal discord. Sanjiv Reddy in Adilabad remained a rebel till the last, resisting the party’s efforts. By the evening, he declared that he was no longer part of the Congress family.
AICC Telangana in-charge Manikrao Thakre’s talks proved fruitful. Parallelly, negotiations with rebels like Janga Raghava Reddy of Warangal West further brought relief to the party. In Narsapur, Gali Anil Kumar withdrew his nomination but also resigned from the party’s primary membership. Anil Kumar is likely to join the BRS.