Congress gears up to make inroads in ST segments in Telangana
In the Asifabad Assembly constituency, traditionally a stronghold for the Congress, the dynamics have shifted.
ADILABAD: The Congress is determined to reclaim its historical standing in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) reserved constituencies in the erstwhile Adilabad district, with a particular focus on the Khanapur constituency. After a gap of 40 years, the party has allocated the ticket to Vedma Bojju Patel, a Gond tribal, in a bid to revive its presence in the region.
The erstwhile Adilabad district comprises three ST reserve constituencies: Khanapur, Asifabad, and Boath, and the Congress is determined to make significant inroads in these areas. The Khanapur constituency has not been represented by the Congress for four decades. A Revanth Reddy, upon assuming the role of TPCC president, directed his focus to the constituency and organised the first public meeting in Indervalli Mandal. The region has been dominated by regional parties for the past 40 years.
The party has mobilized leaders, including pulling in prominent national leaders for campaign events. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress general secretary, made her inaugural appearance at the election campaign in support of Vedma Bojju Patel for the Khanapur Assembly constituency.
In the Asifabad Assembly constituency, traditionally a stronghold for the Congress, the dynamics have shifted. In the 2018 elections, the Congress candidate emerged victorious but later joined the BRS. For the upcoming elections, the party has nominated Sham Naik, a Lambada candidate.
Even in Boath, the Congress was dominant from 1962 till the 1983 elections. However, regional parties have held the seat since then. This time, the party has allocated the ticket to Gajender Ade, who has contested on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket in the 2018 election, while the Congress candidate in 2018, Soyam Bapu Rao, is contesting on a BRS ticket this time.
In a noteworthy departure, the Congress has allocated tickets for the 12 ST reserve constituencies in the state, dividing them equally between Gond tribals and Lambadas. Despite the Gond community dominating the Asifabad constituency, the Congress has chosen to field a Lambada candidate, expressing optimism about reclaiming the constituency.