Revanth Reddy: Congress Campaign Leader in Telangana

Revanth Reddy

Revanth Reddy: Congress Campaign Leader in Telangana -Fifty-four-year-old Revanth Reddy is leading the Congress to success in Telangana just two years after he was selected as the president of the party’s state unit

Barely two years after being named as the president of the Telangana Congress, 54-year-old Revanth Reddy, a previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLA who cut his teeth in the right-wing student union Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), has guided the grand old party to a stellar the win in the assembly elections in the state.

Revanth Reddy assumed over as the Congress state president after old-timer Uttam Kumar Reddy in 2021. By then he had been in the Congress for nearly four years despite the party not being able to displace K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR)’s then Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). Come 2021, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also started making inroads into Telangana by winning bye-elections and acquiring four MLAs in the state. Their then party head Bandi Sanjay carried the saffron far into the Telangana hinterland and the BJP was quickly becoming a force to reckon with in the state.

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Srikanth Bhandaru, spokesperson of the Congress said, “It is at this time that all of us in the Congress gathered and agreed that we had to up our game. Revanth Reddy then took over the narrative and walked into the shoes of a leader.” Reddy is said to have collected support from within the Congress to reconcile all the warring factions and quell mutiny among senior congressmen who started to drift into the BJP.

By 2022, Reddy had began travelling constituencies and his campaigning had begun to see results. The BJP’s big pas of dethroning Bandi Sanjay and replaced him with a meek Kishan Reddy moved the Congress into the pole place even before the election season broke in. “The Congress has implemented over the BJP’s position as one of the two party,” KT Rama Rao, working president of the Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) and former minister, told HT earlier. The Karnataka win only strengthened the Congress that was searching for a toe hold in Southern India.

Once the polls were released, Revanth Reddy could wean out more than 35 leaders from the BRS at different levels to join the Congress, thus strengthening the party. “His padayatra in February this year was a turning point. He began going on KCR immediately and attacked the family. This was something that no Congress leader prior had dared to do,” said Hari Kasula, Founder of PsyBe, a campaign strategy firm based in Hyderabad. Reddy’s confidence partly resulted from the Gandhis throwing their weight after him. “Rahul Gandhi as well as Priyanka Gandhi noticed that Reddy was being treated by the Telangana cadre. Being from Kodangal, he speaks the way the villagers do,” said the Congress spokesperson

In the run-up to the election, Revanth Reddy’s efforts were reinforced by an active role played by the state election in charge, Manick Rao Thakre, and Sunil Kanugolu, who supplied the party with the design to win across the Telangana electorate. While Thakre managed to convince the former Congress leaders in the BJP to go back to their home base, Kanugolu’s team designed a district-wise campaign assisting the local Congress leaders put out a powerful narrative to challenge KCR’s emotional statehood argument. Reddy’s oratorial talent and accessibility also seem to have struck a chord with the villagers to whom KCR was generally perceived as a farm-house CM.

Many in the Congress believe that the caste factor additionally worked in Reddy’s advantage. If Reddy is truly named chief minister, he will join the record of Reddys who have won the Telugu state (previously the combined Andhra Pradesh) for the Congress party. According to Neelam Sanjiva Reddy in the 1950s to Marri Channa Reddy in the 70s to K Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy in the 90s, YS Rajasekhar Reddy and Kiran Kumar Reddy in the 2000s, Revanth’s name might have been inscribed on the board at the entrance of the Gandhi Bhavan in Hyderabad.

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