Why is Rahul Gandhi looking at Telangana? Why not Karnataka? Is he searching for safe seat?

The Congress has given ‘official media leaks’ to prepare the Telangana electors that former Congress president Rahul Gandhi would consider contesting from Telangana.

Why is Rahul Gandhi looking at Telangana? Why not Karnataka? Is he searching for safe seat?

HYDERABAD: The Congress has given ‘official media leaks’ to prepare the Telangana electors that former Congress president Rahul Gandhi would consider contesting from Telangana.

Is Rahul Gandhi worried over seeking a reelection from Wayanad which saved his face in 2019?

The chinks in INDIA bloc’s armour are being stitched again with great difficulty by the Congress. At times, the grand old party (GOP) is bending over backwards to accommodate the highly demanding alliance partners.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D Raja’s wife Yani Raja has been named as the LDF (Left Democratic Front, the ruling coalition in Kerala) candidate from Wayanad. As it is, LDF and UDF (United Democratic Front, led by the Congress) are the two main political formations in Kerala. So, Rahul Gandhi will be under compulsion to either eschew a contest from Wayanad or risk his political career.

Also Read: Revanth Reddy appeals to Sonia Gandhi to contest from Telangana; she’ll decide at right time

Why should he leave Wayanad? If the CPI insists that its candidate must be in the fray, Rahul Gandhi’s fate hangs fire. For, the CPI is partner in the INDIA Bloc led by the Congress which cannot lose the CPI from the bloc. So, he may have to yield ground there. If he demonstrates bravado, even the Congress leaders may not be forthcoming to assert that Wayanad will give him a sure shot victory.

It is a political expediency for the Aam Admi Party (AAP) to stay glued to the INDIA bloc.

Marriage of convenience with Akhilesh Yadav

When it comes to Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is on a roll after the inaugural of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

Rahul Gandhi was defeated in 2019 by Smriti Zubin Irani with a huge margin of 55,000-odd votes in his native Amethi Lok Sabha seat. In fact, this is a constituency that has been consistently nursed by the Gandhi family since Rajiv Gandhi days.

But, once he lost ground there, it surely is no longer a safe bet to depend fully on the same seat. Though Rahul Gandhi is contemplating contesting again from Amethi, what if he totters and slips again – from grace – indeed.

It’s for this reason, the Congress had to come to heel to let Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party to have its way in the coalition. It’s a hard bargain for the Congress there.

How strong and long this patch work of a torn relationship with the SP will last is anybody’s guess. The relationship with the SP is also important for the GOP as Priyanka Gandhi is likely to contest from Rae Bareli, which has been electing the Gandhis traditionally, except in 1977 when a nondescript archetypal nowhere man Raj Narain defeated Indira Gandhi in the post-Emergency elections.

Now that Sonia Gandhi has moved to Rajya Sabha by opting out of the Lok Sabha race, she is contending to field her daughter in Rae Bareli. Akhilesh Yadav’s support becomes crucial here for which the Congress conceded his demands.

Why Telangana?

Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy and Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, along with their colleague minister Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy, had called on Sonia Gandhi last month and urged her to consider contesting from Khammam. With Bhatti and Ponguleti coming from the Khamma Lok Sabha area, the pitch appeared solid.

But, a knackered Sonia Gandhi, considering her health condition, politely declined to consider this offer. Then, the pitch was deflected towards Priyanka Gandhi to contest from Khammam by the Telangana Congress leaders. But, it appears that Rahul Gandhi is keen to throw his hat into the proverbial rink from Telangana – be it Khammam or Bhuvanagiri.

Revanth Reddy has his own personal agenda in this whole game of thrones. If one of the Gandhis contests from Khammam, he can have the possible insecurity surrounding his own position sorted, albeit temporarily.

One of the two serious contenders for the top job in Telangana is Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka. His wife Nandini, who is a very vocal leader, has already demanded Khammam Lok Sabha ticket. If Rahul Gandhi contests from Khammam, mostly he will stand a chance to win. The Chief Minister must be of the view that Rahul Gandhi’s contest may give the necessary booster to the Congress prospects elsewhere in Telangana. Also, Rahul Gandhi’s presence in Khammam can contain the mad scramble for Khammam seat.

Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy is angling to field his brother, while Tummala Nageshwara Rao is planning to field his progeny. Senior Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao as latest as on Monday announced that he was going to contest from Khammam. All these genies can be once and for all bottled up.

Plus, the presence of Rahul Gandhi as an MP from the State would naturally work as a high resistance in the Congress-mark dissident activity.

If Rahul Gandhi considers Bhuvanagiri seat, Revanth Reddy can have the potential contenders for the chief minister’s gaddi – Uttam Kumar Reddy and Komatireddy Venkat Reddy – from Nalgonda district controlled.

Rahul Gandhi’s contest from Khammam is a win-win for him and also Revanth Reddy.

Why not Karnataka?

Karantaka is a State that gives rollercoaster verdict. The pendulum oscillates anti-clockwise to the government in the State traditionally.

Now that the Congress is in the saddle, despite way too much of internal bickering for the Chief Minister’s post, the people generally tend to vote for the BJP. It will be close to a year since the Congress came to power in Karnataka. So, it’s time for people’s anger against the government to manifest in one form or the other. This may imperil the winning chances of Rahul Gandhi from Karnataka.

Also, Gandhi did not ask Siddaramaiah or DK Shivakumar to oblige him as an MP candidate. Because, he will have to oblige Siddaramaiah for continuance in and Shivakumar for elevation to the post of Chief Minister. A risky proposition to contest from Karnataka. So, no.

For this reason, Gandhi chose to have the “official leak” publicised in Telangana media.

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