Revanth Reddy to take oath as Telangana CM today
Revanth called on Congress central leaders in Delhi on Wednesday, a day after the party high command picked him over other senior contenders for the top post.
Anumula Revanth Reddy, the firebrand leader who steered the Congress to its maiden victory in Telangana, will be sworn-in as the new chief minister at the sprawling Lal Bahadur Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday.
A day after the party high command picked him over other senior contenders for the top post, ending suspense over the leadership issue, Revanth called on central leaders in Delhi including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Manikrao Thakre, KC Venugopal and Mallikarjun Kharge and personally invited them for the oath taking ceremony.
A senior Congress leader who is familiar with the developments said the composition of the new cabinet was also discussed at these meetings.
Along with Revanth, five others, including a deputy chief minister, would take oath tomorrow, he said. The Congress floor leader in the outgoing assembly and the Dalit face of the party Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka is likely to be the new deputy chief minister, party leaders said.
The oath-taking ceremony will take place at 1.04 pm, officials in the Raj Bhavan said. Arrangements are in full swing at the venue. The state chief secretary Santhi Kumari and the Director General Police Ravi Gupta are supervising the works.
Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi is likely to attend the ceremony. “Probably,” Gandhi told reporters outside Parliament to questions on whether she would travel to Hyderabad.
Infighting delays decision
A day after dislodging the two-term Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government at the hustings, the Congress was caught in a leadership tussle, delaying the process to select the new CM.
There were two prominent contenders for the top post: N Uttam Kumar Reddy, a six-time MLA and former state unit president, and Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka.
Both of them lobbied for the post with the high command, citing their seniority and loyalty to the party. However, the central leadership picked Revanth (54) who had emerged as the face of the winning campaign and a choice of the majority of the 64 newly-elected MLAs in the state.
He was successful in infusing new energy and dynamism into a moribund organisation and ran an aggressive campaign focusing on the ‘corruption and family rule’ of the BRS.
“After considering the report by the AICC observers and holding discussions, the party president Mallikarjun Kharge has decided to go with Revanth Reddy as the CLP leader,” the party general secretary KC Venugopal had announced in Delhi on Tuesday.
According to a senior Congress leader who is familiar with the developments, Rahul Gandhi pitched for Revanth’s candidature for CM’s post. This clinched the deal for him.
Revanth, a three-time MLA, had switched over to the Congress from Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party in 2017 and was appointed the PCC chief in 2021.
A section of Telangana Congress leaders dub him as an “outsider” as he made a lateral entry into the party. Soon after his appointment as the state party chief in 2021, there was a virtual revolt from a section of senior leaders.
However, the high command firmly stood by him and gave him a free hand in the selection of candidates for the assembly polls and formulation of campaign strategies.
From just 19 seats in 2018 to winning a comfortable majority, the Congress turnaround in Telangana has been spectacular, the credit for which goes largely to Revanth who is said to have established a good rapport with the party’s central leaders including Rahul Gandhi.
Revanth started his career with ABVP, the student wing of the BJP, and later moved to the TDP and won the Kodangal constituency in Mahaboobnagar district in the 2009 and 2014 assembly polls. He joined the Congress only in October 2017 and lost to the BRS in the 2018 elections. However, he bounced back in just a few months, winning the Malkajgiri Lok Sabha seat in the elections.
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