Congratulations, Revanth Reddy. You take the cake. All the best Telangana

The Congress slogan – Marpu kaavaali, Congress raavaali – has really worked wonders a la Raavaali Jagan; Kaavaali Jagan in Andhra Pradesh.

Congratulations, Revanth Reddy. You take the cake. All the best Telangana

HYDERABAD: Congratulations, Revanth Reddy. You take the cake. What a resurgence for the Congress in Telangana? Whoa! It is unimaginably resounding a victory for the Congress. Revanth Reddy proves to be the YS Rajasekhara Reddy for the Congress in Telangana. Or maybe he can be likened to D K Shivakumar of Karnataka.

Now, it is a popular approbation to the leadership of Revanth Reddy, who was hitherto treated as a rank outsider and an imported candidate. Singularly, Revanth Reddy should be credited with the refulgence of the Grand Old Party (GOP) in Telangana, for he levitated the party literally from a shambles.

The Congress slogan – Marpu kaavaali, Congress raavaali – has really worked wonders a la Raavaali Jagan; Kaavaali Jagan in Andhra Pradesh.

Well, what worked for the Congress and what went wrong for the Bharat Rashtra Samithi has to be clearly delved deep into, for it may not be absolutely abstruse for one to delineate between these two factors.

For the onlookers of polity in Telangana, the denouement of the political soap opera at the end of the Assembly elections 2023, it may seem wynorrific. One may not completely endorse that it was more of a pro-Congress vote rather than anti-BRS vote.

For sure, every one would admit KCR’s agape for Telangana is beyond any doubt. Yet, the one who has been portrayed to be the hattrick Chief Minister has made all his admirers jaw-drop what with their enormous confidence in his political maneuvering abilities and dexterity with which he handles elections.

KCR, who never faced an electoral defeat since 1985 – ever since his first election, has been defeated in Kamareddy, which he took up as a gamble to prove a point that he can win from anywhere. This attempt conked off and he was relegated to a humble third position in the race. The Congress party’s experiment to field its chief ministerial candidate against the top gun of the BRS paid off and the GOP reaped much richer dividend here than expected. How does KCR attenuate this hard-hitting reality will have to be watched.

The sempiternal trust of all in the State that KCR would not lose an election has been smashed to smithereens. Even his native Gajwel electors have not demonstrated redamancy as expected, notwithstanding his focused development endeavor of the non-descript rural constituency that Gajwel has been.

It is a case of retrouville for the Congress as it has kissed power once again, and for the first time in Telangana after the State is carved out. The Congress can brag that KCR was sufficiently rewarded for fetching a separate State for Telangana with 10 years of power; and now it proudly claims that it is its turn to stratify that Telangana formation was, of course, a collective effort by KCR and the Congress.

Let us take a look at what worked for the Congress.

First and foremost, it is the leadership of Revanth Reddy, who, both as a strategist and also as a rabble-rouser, shouldered the onus of the party’s victory and took on a political titan in the form of KCR. A relatively younger leader who brought a generational shift as opposed to BRS supremo KCR, Revanth Reddy will try to emerge as the go-to man for the party for a long time to come.

Revanth Reddy is the only Congress leader who led the brigade from the infantry covering 61 public meetings and 36 road shows across the length and breadth of the State. He has campaigned extensively and kickstarted the campaign in the very first quarter of 2023 with his padayatra. His calculated risk of fielding 22 migrant candidates from other parties in the Assembly elections yielded the desired result. All those who crossed over from the BRS and other parties into the Congress made it to the Assembly, while all those who joined the BRS from the Congress are a desolate flock now.

Despite vehement opposition and internecine feuds with close to a dozen aspirants for the chief ministership within the party, Revanth Reddy was successful in garnering the unwavering blessings from the Congress high command. This naturally and very obviously places him ahead of the other contenders for the top job of the Chief Minister.

Revanth Reddy during the campaign trail never lost composure even by a whisker and always demonstrated an oozing confidence. He has proven to people that he has evolved over the years with experience from a loss of an election in his native Kodangal constituency to his victory in Malkajgiri as an MP; and from becoming the TPCC chief and mending ways with seniors within the Congress, making them move in widdershins to extending their support to his leadership.

He was successful in making the six guarantees of the Congress entrench well into the minds of the electors, while coordinating with Congress high command, and the party’s points man and Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar.

Chief Minister’s post or not, Revanth Reddy may lie low for now, if the high command desires so, and may let the Congress high command to elevate his colleague Bhatti Vikaramarka to the top job if the Congress high command prefers him with a view to setting a narrative of making a Dalit the Chief Minister, at least, until the Lok Sabha elections.

Or, he may ascend to the big chair with Bhatti Vikaramarka and Seethakka (Mulugu MLA) as his deputies, if the Congress leadership wants.

What has not worked for KCR?

The Bharat Rashtra Samithi did not have a single point political narrative, except for performance and deliverance, balancing out development and welfare.

The single slogan akin to the Congress’s ‘Marpu kaavali – Congress raavaali’ was conspicuous by its absence; and the BRS somehow did not continue the political consultancy though it initially had engaged Prashanth Kishor’s I-PAC.

The retention of a large number of candidates with anti-incumbency was portrayed as a bold decision of reposing confidence in its own candidates by the BRS is another undeniable reason that has done the party in.

The change in name of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi to the Bharat Rashtra Samithi with a national ambition too must have proven counter-productive, as the Congress hugely capitalized on this factor alleging that KCR has reneged the promise of upholding the Telangana agenda.

Of course, above all, the political fatigue that has set in among the people owing to the KCR dispensation being in power for the last almost one decade too has complemented the Congress sloganeering of “vote for a change”.

All in all, the popular mandate rallied behind Revanth Reddy jettisoning the aspirations of KCR who had eyed for a third term in office. Thus, even KCR could not break the jinx of the “no third term” for an incumbent Chief Minister in the South of India, making him meet the serendipitous fate of losing the battle.

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