TPCC president Revanth Reddy along with Telangana congress leaders address the media after meeting Rahul Gandi at his residence in New Delhi on Monday, 4 Apr 2022. Photo: D. Kamraj/DC)
NEW DELHI: Barely speaking for over seven minutes to the group of 38 senior leaders of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee, during a meeting that lasted three-and-a-half hours, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that there would be no alliances with either the TRS or the AIMIM and that if all senior leaders put aside internal differences and work unitedly the Congress will come to power in the state.
Speaking to a large contingent of TS Congress leaders, Rahul Gandhi, according to sources, warned them against crossing the line of discipline or going to the media with leaks, promising that the party would set a mechanism to sort out all internal differences. Rahul, accompanied by senior leader K.C. Venugopal and party’s state in-charge Manickam Tagore, patiently heard party leaders but gave completely backing to TPCC chief A. Revanth Reddy.
The senior Congress leaders that there would be no place for dissent and everyone must work for Congress’ victory in the Telangana Assembly elections next year.
Quoting from an internal survey conducted recently, the former Congress president assured the leaders that the public sentiment in Telangana is strongly against the TRS and they would come to power if they worked together.
All the TPCC leaders, who attended the meeting in an attempt to resolve issues and forge a united and collective leadership, besides setting aside and resolving internal rivalries, were given a chance to air their views, including their dissatisfactions, with the current scenario. Most leaders complained of lack of coordination, unilateral decision making and lack of utilisation of their services.
Among those who attended the meeting were TPCC chief A. Revanth Reddy, Lok Sabha MPs Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, senior leaders J. Geeta Reddy, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, MLA T. Jayaprakash Reddy, Marri Shashidhar Reddy, K. Jana Reddy, Mohammed Ali Shabbir, Damodar Raja Narasimha, Konda Surekha, Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Anjan Kumar Yadav and Dasoju Sravan Kumar, among others.
"Leaders must come out together onto streets rather than sitting inside party offices and residences. Every leader of the Congress party from mandal level to state-level must mingle with common people and fight for them. Congress party cleared all obstacles to create a separate Telangana and must target to come to power in ensuing elections," Rahul Gandhi reportedly directed the TPCC leaders.
Venkat Reddy told Deccan Chronicle that he had informed Rahul Gandhi about the TPCC president not coordinating with other leaders. Venkat Reddy raised the issue of damage done owing to delay in declaring candidates for Assembly elections and requested the high command to finalise names for contestants a few months before the elections. Rahul Gandhi agreed to the proposal.
Giving a commitment that the party high command would consider all suggestions of senior leaders, Gandhi reiterated that party activities must be organised with coordination among all leaders. He also asked leaders to put an end to the internal rivalry.
Rahul Gandhi also indicated that he would bring reports regarding party activities, leader’s efficiency in making protest calls given by the TPCC and coordination among the leaders.
In a parallel development, senior leader V. Hanumantha Rao met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at her residence. Hanumantha Rao briefed Mrs Gandhi about various party activities in the state and complained about the lack of coordination among leaders.
In the 30-minute meeting, Mrs Gandhi also asked about internal rivalry besides the regular party activities and the response of people to Congress programmes. Mrs Gandhi told Hanumantha Rao to work closely with the party and strive to bring the party into power.
After meeting Sonia Gandhi, Hanumantha Rao said the party must consider the opinions of all senior leaders and ensure better coordination.
Several leaders, meanwhile, speaking to Deccan Chronicle said that they were very happy with the meeting and grateful to Rahul Gandhi for hearing them patiently and responding to all their issues.
"We will work unitedly under the leadership of Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and bring the Congress party to power in Telangana," several leaders averred.