In a move that could contain the damage that the Congress faces from being seen as anti-Telangana, revolutionary singer and poet Gummadi Vittal Rao aka ‘Gaddar’, one of the foremost voices for a separate state of Telangana, met Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday, sparking speculation of his possible switch from the Left to the Congress ahead of the December 7 Assembly elections.
In a Facebook post shortly after the meeting at 12.45 pm, Mr Gandhi said, “Earlier today, I met with the revolutionary Telugu poet and Dalit rights activist Gaddar.. discussed how to defend our constitution from systematic attack by the forces of fascism that seek to undermine it.”
Gaddar’s meeting with the Gandhis is significant as till now he has been a part of the CPI(M)-backed Bahujan Left Front, aligned with actor Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena Party which was not tied to the TDP-Congress-CPI Opposition alliance or ‘Mahakutami’.
CPI(M) -- the chief constituent of the 28-party force -- has been split over whether or not to align with the Congress.
Last month, speculation was rife that the BLF was planning to pit Gaddar, who had played a prominent role in the Telangana agitation, against Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao in the Assembly polls.
The Congress’ interest in the poet might also stem from the fact that if Gaddar joins forces with TDP-Congress-CPI alliance, he could counter the Telangana Jana Samithi, led by Muddasani Kodandaram, a significant constituent of the TDP-Congress Opposition alliance and considered the father of the Telangana struggle, who has been seeking more seats.