Why Has Congress Ignored Its Leaders From Telangana, AP?

19 Jul, 2018 17:41 IST|Sakshi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi reconstituted Congress Working Committee (CWC)

K Jayadev

Six months after Rahul Gandhi took over as Congress President, he has given a jolt to the Congress party leaders in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The Congress President has reconstituted the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and has completely ignored leaders from both the Telugu-speaking states. With this move, has Congress given up hopes to form government in these two states or is it thinking there were no leaders at the national level?

Whatever the reason, the Congress party in these two states was disappointed, and its leaders are disillusioned. News that was making rounds in the party circles said that Raghuveera Reddy from AP and Jaipal Reddy from Telangana would definitely find a place in the list of CWC. But the final list turned out to be a big surprise for everyone. And going by Rahul Gandhi's attitude towards fellow party men, the Congress party has to get prepared for a new leadership.

The reconstituted CWC has 23 members, apart from 18 permanent invitees and 10 special invitees, taking the number to 51. The first meeting of the CWC has been scheduled for July 22.

Several senior leaders including Moti Lal Vohra, A.K. Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Mallikarjun Kharge and Mukul Wasnik have retained their positions. As expected UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had their positions intact.

Many former Chief Ministers have found entry to the CWC including Tarun Gogoi, Oommen Chandy, Ashok Gehlot and Harish Rawat. On the other hand, prominent names did not figure in the list including former Rajya Sabha MP Karan Singh, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh, veterans Janardan Dwivedi, CP Joshi, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Oscar Fernandes, Mohan Prakash and BK Hariprasad.

Though the reconstituted CWC seems to be aiming at 2019 elections, why has Rahul ignored the two Telugu-speaking states? This question becomes all the more relevant in view of the fact that both these states are due for elections along with Lok Sabha polls in 2019. It is said that the new CWC will form the party's core team for the upcoming polls. All the southern states Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have representation, but these two states were not considered.

Was it because the party leadership felt that Congress had no chance to come to power in these two states? The fact is that Congress is the lone opponent in Telangana for ruling TRS. They have definitely built a momentum against the government, though not a full-fledged one. And going by TPCC president Uttam Kumar Reddy, the party is likely to overpower TRS.

But this blow from Congress President seems irreparable for the leaders in Telangana. Representation in the CWC would have given a boost to the party in the state. Now it is a good opportunity for other parties to criticise TPCC. The last time undivided Andhra Pradesh was represented was by K Keshav Rao, who is currently with TRS.

The air in the Congress party was very much similar in Andhra Pradesh. Even as the party was trying to make a comeback, this new move by the party's top leadership is a big blow for the Congress party's prospects in the 2019 elections.

It was surprising that though both the states have seasoned and senior leaders in the party, Rahul didn't find them good enough to find a place at the national level. Will this gamble by Congress President pay or worsen the position in the two states? But the Congress President has made the decision and will have to take the credit for it.

The icing on the cake was INTUC national president Sanjeeva Reddy was included in the CWC as a special invitee, a lone Telugu person!

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