Focus shifts to appointment of new Telangana Congress chief, Cabinet expansion

This possibility has already sparked heated debates regarding the priority to “migrants’’ over leaders who have served the Congress for a long time.
Congress flag image used for representation.
Congress flag image used for representation.

HYDERABAD: Now that the Telangana phase of the Lok Sabha elections is past, the talk in Congress corridors has shifted to the possibility of a new PCC president and expansion of the Cabinet.

In all likelihood, the Congress high command will ask Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy to step down as TPCC president by the end of June or the first week of July so that a leader from the BC community can succeed him in the post.

If one goes by the animated discussions in Congress circles, senior leaders like Campaign Committee chairman Madhu Yaskhi Goud, Minister Ponnam Prabhakar, MLC and working president Mahesh Kumar Goud are the front-runners for the TPCC chief post.

On other hand, AICC secretary SA Sampath Kumar and TPCC working president T Jayaprakash Reddy alias Jagga Reddy are also expecting the post.

According to sources in the Congress, the high command is contemplating appointing a leader from the BC community for the TPCC president post since the chief minister is from the Reddy community. A BC leader being appointed as the TPCC chief would balance the social equations. This was the setup in the Congress during the tenure of the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy as chief minister in undivided Andhra Pradesh when Dharmapuri Srinivas was the PCC chief.

Meanwhile, speculation regarding the expansion of the state Cabinet continues to echo in Congress corridors, with party leaders talking about who would be the fortunate ones to fill the six vacant positions.

According to sources in the Gandhi Bhavan, the high command is expected to give the green light to the chief minister to expand his Cabinet in the third or last week of June, after the results of the Lok Sabha elections are announced.

Currently, there is no representation from Rangareddy, Adilabad, Nizamabad and Hyderabad districts in the Cabinet and MLAs from these regions remain optimistic about their chances.

Former minister and Bodhan MLA P Sudharshan Reddy, Ibrahimpatnam MLA Malreddy Ranga Reddy and Devarakonda MLA Balu Naik, along with first-time Makthal MLA V Srihari, are among those hoping for a Cabinet berth. From Adilabad, the contenders include Mancherial MLA Prem Sagar, former minister and Bellampalli MLA G Vinod, and first-time Khanapur MLA Edma Bojju.

Interestingly, Congress leaders are discussing, albeit in private, about the chances of newly joined and soon-to-join MLAs from the BRS. From the BRS “migrants”, former deputy chief minister Kadiyam Srihari and former minister Danam Nagender could make it to the Cabinet.

Additionally, there is talk that BRS MLAs might be accommodated in key positions such as corporation or board chairmanships if they join the Congress with certain assurances.

This possibility has already sparked heated debates regarding the priority to “migrants’’ over leaders who have served the Congress for a long time.

The coming two months are expected to witness a flurry of political activity in the state in the form of the expected Cabinet expansion and migrations of MLAs from the BRS.

Contenders for Cabinet berths

Former minister and Bodhan MLA P Sudharshan Reddy, Ibrahimpatnam MLA Malreddy Ranga Reddy and Devarakonda MLA Balu Naik, along with first-time MLA V Srihari from Makthal, are among those hoping for a Cabinet berth.

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