Hyderabad: A section of TPCC leaders have requested the AICC to declare PCC chief N. Uttam Kumar Reddy as the Congress’ candidate for the Chief Minister’s post for the 2019 Assembly polls to take on TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
Traditionally, the Congress does not announce the Chief Ministerial candidate before Assembly polls. The party’s standard operating procedure has been that the Chief Minister or Congress Legislature Party leader would be elected by the legislators after the election results.
This approach had served the party well, since it stops any disgruntled member of the party or leaders from deserting the party for other greener pastures.
Even when a strong leader like the late Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy was at the helm of state party affairs, the Congress did not announce him the CM candidate. He was made the CM twice only after the results were declared.
However, before the recent Uttar Pradesh elections, former Delhi CM Shiela Dikshit was declared the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate by the AICC. However, the Congress withdrew the decision striking an electoral alliance with the Samajwadi Party.
Now, TPCC leaders say that the party high command should have a rethink on the issue, based on the ground situation in Telangana and the peculiarities existing in the region.
There have been several instances of the Congress changing its PCC chiefs and CMs just months before elections. The party has kept the various groups happy by never announcing any leader would continue in a certain post for a specific time.
However, party leaders believe that the situation in the state has changed now, especially after the TRS came to power and its policy of encouraging mass political defections. They say that Mr Chandrasekhar Rao has been concentrating and poaching on other political parties and cadre in the state and admitting them into the TRS. They believe that the CM has already taken steps, including arranging finances, to face the next elections systematically.
It’s common knowledge that political parties depend upon funding and without sufficient financial resources it will be difficult for a party leader to script poll strategy.
It is estimated that at least `500 crore is required to face Assembly polls in the state, if a party hopes to do well. Even assuming the candidates will pitch in to some extent, the party will still have to have huge funds at the disposal of its leader.
The Congress leaders say that the party at present faces a peculiar problem in Telangana since it is pitted against regional and sub-regional party bosses.
If the contest is between two national parties, the situation may be different but when Congress has to fight regional parties, the election turns into a fight between the individuals heading the parties....