Hyderabad: The Congress on Monday joined the caste game for the ensuing elections in Telangana in a bid to show up TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who appears to be resiling after promising to install a Backward Class leader as the first chief minister of the region.
Union minister Jairam Ramesh announced in Karimnagar that the Congress would make a Dalit leader the first chief minister of the new state. “The very objective of carving out Telangana was to achieve social justice and only a Dalit CM could only make it possible,” he said. Two days ago, TD chief N. Chandrababu Naidu had announced that he would make a BC leader the first CM of Telangana.
While the Telugu Desam does not have much to lose in Telangana, the Congress took a strategic risk by making its own non-Dalit leaders unhappy. These include senior MP V. Hanumantha Rao who was pitching for a BC candidate for the top post and leaders belonging to the upper castes.
Sources said the Congress’ move was aimed at turning Mr Chandrasekhar Rao’s earlier promise to make a Dalit as Chief Minister into a major issue. Though it is yet to make an official announcement, the TRS has been dropping indications that Mr Rao would occupy the top seat. The party is now projecting it as a historical need to have Mr Rao as the first CM of T state to build it.