Will bonhomie of Revanth Reddy, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy last long?

The acrimonious relationship between the two leaders has been marked by instances of revolt, accusations and counter-accusations

Will bonhomie of Revanth Reddy, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy last long?

HYDERABAD: Political rivalries are not uncommon, and in the realm of politics, clashes and power struggles are frequent occurrences. One such bitter rivalry which keeps hogging headlines time and again is the rift between two prominent Congress leaders of Telangana: Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and Revanth Reddy. The acrimonious relationship between the two leaders has been marked by instances of revolt, accusations and counter-accusations.

The highly volatile Komatireddy has always been susceptible to emotions. On umpteen occasions, Revanth Reddy had to bend backwards to massage the ego of Venkat Reddy to make him fall in line. Whenever his frayed tempers were placated, he seems to have mellowed down but it is only a matter of time before his ego feels hurt and his tongue becomes acerbic, making him pass vitriolic remarks against the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President.

The Tom and Jerry fight between Revanth Reddy and Komatireddy is exposing the proverbial chinks in the Telangana Congress party’s armour. And with a fresh ceasefire in place, Komatireddy is for now posturing as if he is towing the line of the TPCC chief.

Take a look at the numerous occasions he sulked over, revolted against and taunted Revanth Reddy.

One of the first instances of Komatireddy revolting against Revanth Reddy came in 2017 when the latter made headlines by defecting from the TDP to join the Congress. This movewas seen as a significant blow to the TDP and a boost for the grand-old party. However, Komatireddy publicly criticised Revanth's defection, claiming that it was a selfish act driven by personal ambition rather than a principled decision.

The rivalry between the two leaders intensified within the party, leading to a series of internal conflicts. Another flashpoint in the feud emerged during the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections in 2020. Komatireddy had suggested giving tickets to a few candidates in LB Nagar and Uppal areas which have a high concentration of people from his native Nalgonda bastion. However, the party did not heed his requests, prompting Venkat Reddy to make comments that Revanth was disloyal to the party.

The relationship between the two took a turn for the worse after the elections when the Congress High Command was to make a decision to appoint the new TPCC chief. Both Komatireddy and Revanth Reddy were in the fray for the top post. It was then that Komatireddy accused Revanth of using unethical means to consolidate his power within the party, undermining the democratic process and sidelining his opponents. Venkat Reddy even criticised the party's central leadership after Revanth Reddy was appointed as the TPCC chief.

He said that the decision was “unfortunate” and that it would "further divide the party." Venkat Reddy said that he had been "expecting" to be appointed as the TPCC chief, and that he was "disappointed" that the party had chosen Revanth Reddy instead. He said that Revanth Reddy was a "controversial" figure and that his appointment would "alienate" many party members.

Post this, Komatireddy vowed not to step into state party headquarters Gandhi Bhavan in Hyderabad only to return to the fort, a year later. Venkat Reddy had even started participating in party activities and was seen with Revanth Reddy on a few occasions.

However, this truce lasted for a few months and the ‘cold war’ began once again ahead of the Munugode bye-elections last year. The Bhongir MP decided to stay away from campaigning for the Congress after his brother Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy jumped ship from the Congress to the BJP. Venkat Reddy was also served a show cause notice ahead of the election after an audio clip went viral where he was heard asking his supporters in Munugode constituency to vote for his brother. He in fact went abroad and stayed away during the high-stake elections and returned only a few days after the polling.

The instances of Komatireddy revolting against Revanth Reddy have underscored the deep-seated rivalries and power struggles within the Congress party. The recent interaction where Revanth Reddy met Venkat Reddy at the latter’s residence in Hyderabad is being looked upon as a progressive move. But the question remains on whether Komatireddy has buried his hatchet with Revanth or will he once again nurse his grouse against the TPCC, months ahead of the Telangana elections.

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