Telangana: Disquiet in Congress over Operation Akarsh

Some senior leaders in the ruling party believe that the way it is being implemented, Operation Akarsh may backfire on the Congress.
Congress flag used for representation.
Congress flag used for representation.

HYDERABAD: The exodus of MLAs from the embattled BRS to the Congress is creating unrest within the ruling party as some leaders are unhappy with the way “Operation Akarsh” is being implemented. In fact, some senior leaders in the party believe that the way it is being implemented, Operation Akarsh may actually backfire on the Congress.

The latest legislator to switch loyalties was Jagtial MLA Dr Sanjay Kumar. This jumping ship took senior Congress leader and MLC T Jeevan Reddy by surprise as he was unaware of the move.

Political circles are abuzz with debates on the repercussions of “Operation Akarsh” which focuses on attracting BRS MLAs into the Congress fold. However, the grapevine suggests that the state leadership of the Congress is not informing local leaders about these defections, leaving many grumbling.

MLA Danam Nagender’s defection to the Congress has created tensions among ground-level leaders in Khairatabad Assembly constituency. Corporator and segment in-charge Vijay Reddy’s silence on the matter speaks volumes, say those close to him. Similarly, in Bhadrachalam Assembly constituency, the defection of BRS MLA Tellam Venkat Rao shocked former MLA and senior Congress leader Podem Veeraiah.

The defection of Kadiyam Srihari to the Congress was met with opposition from the party’s Station Ghanpur in-charge Indira, who too chose to remain silent rather than speak and fan the flames.

However, the recent welcoming of former speaker and MLA Pocharam Srinivas Reddy by TPCC chief A Revanth Reddy into the Congress fold created major disruption within the BRS but has also left a section of the ruling party fuming. Among the Congress senior leaders, many are sympathetic towards T Jeevan Reddy as they believe that his position in the party will be undermined.

However, another section in the party points out that Jeevan Reddy had been given many chances, including tickets to the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, which he lost. Yet another section points out that Jeevan Reddy was among the first to support Revanth Reddy’s appointment as TPCC chief as well as his candidacy for chief minister.

Among the many angles that figure in the discussions among senior leaders is one regarding the promises made by the Congress high command to entice BRS MLAs. Some believe that the high command is banking on an increase in the number of constituencies following delimitation due in 2026 and making promises to the BRS MLAs. An increase in the number of constituencies would allow room for the accommodation of both veteran leaders and newcomers.

While Congress generally allows members the freedom to voice concerns against leadership decisions, the recent defections have sparked discussions among senior leaders about supporting Jeevan Reddy. Some ministers have reportedly contacted the AICC in-charge to inquire about Dr Sanjay Kumar’s defection, which occurred without consulting the MLC. This has raised tensions within the party, with some ministers feeling sidelined.

Despite the tension, some party leaders believe that the entry of the Jagtial MLA is in the best interest of the Congress as it will strengthen the party. Others expect senior leaders to speak to Jeevan Reddy and allay his concerns.

Meanwhile, sources say that Jeevan Reddy’s elder son might be given an important post, signalling his potential entry into politics. While ‘Operation Akarsh’ continues to create tension, it also generates considerable curiosity within Congress. The outcome of these political moves remains a topic of high interest and speculation.

Congress flag used for representation.
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The New Indian Express