Even as Telangana waits with bated breath for the Assembly election results, TPCC chief Uttam Kumar Reddy is confident the Congress-led People’s Front will win 75 to 80 seats and that the alliance will hold its swearing-in ceremony on December 12. There, however, lies a problem for the grand old party: Its rather large pool of chief ministerial aspirants.
The party, which has several political heavyweights known for competing fiercely for leadership positions, is likely to see a face off between its top leaders if the party does manage to win the State’s first Assembly polls. Uttam, clearly a favourite, leads the race.
If everything goes right for the grand old party, Uttam would become the leader to have helmed the team and defeated a rather strong TRS. He would also be given credit for having successfully managed a rainbow alliance. AICC president Rahul Gandhi’s backing and a, so far, spotless record are other advantages. If party leaders are not convinced about his ability to lead, seniors such as K Jana Reddy and S Jaipal Reddy may get the top job.
However, Jaipal Reddy has already announced that he is not in the race to become chief minister and that “a youngster” should get the job. Jana Reddy is a favourite of the Congress High Command, considering his experience. Senior leader T Jeevan Reddy may get a call from the High Command if ‘loyalty’ and ‘consensus’ are the most important yardsticks.
Now the big question is what role will firebrand leader and TPCC working president A Revanth Reddy be given if Congress wins. Revanth has openly expressed his ambition to be CM and will surely lobby for the post.
N Uttam Kumar Reddy, K Jana Reddy, A Revanth Reddy and T Jeevan Reddy are top contenders. While leaders from the Reddy community will be the first choice, the top job may also go to SCs if there is no consensus. Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka is among the front runners.
Though there were talks of a Cabinet reshuffle, no major change took place in the last two years. Netas who are likely to dropped from the Cabinet are N Narasimha Reddy and Azmeera Chandulal who have been accused of being “non-performers”.
A citizen had recently asked TRS leader KT Rama Rao on Twitter: “Can we see as you IT Minister yet again? Of course many of us do believe in that no one else is better than you as IT Minister”. He replied, “I do not know. You will have to vote us back again for that to happen.”
Rao had also assured Arvind Reddy from Mancherial and Sashidhar Reddy from Kodad good positions not below the status of MLAs as the two leaders could not be accommodated as party candidates.