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Telangana CM Revanth Reddy becomes ‘unreliable’ in Congress ecosystem after his praise for development and refusal to join north-south divide narrative

After assuming power as the CM of Telangana, Revanth Reddy's behavior and activities have been making it clear that he does not want to antagonise the Central government, instead, he has been sending a subtle message that the state and central government can work together, regardless of the parties in power.

The existence and operation of Congress, the grand old party of India after independence revolves around the Nehru-Gandhi family. It is said that in the Congress party only the Gandhis or their ‘loyalists’ have a say and those not willing to genuflect before the ‘Gandhi high command’ are either deemed unreliable, or alienated and sidelined. Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy who recently demonstrated how constructive opposition and cooperative federalism should work, lauded BJP’s Gujarat development model. He also hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as elder brother as the former visited the state to launch various development projects worth Rs 15718 crores.

“Narendra Modi ji, according to me, Pradhan Mantri means ‘Bade Bhai’. (The Prime Minister is like an elder brother.) With the help and support of ‘Bade Bhai’, the Chief Minister of the state can bring development in their respective areas. If Telangana has to develop like Gujarat, we need your support. We want to contribute to your vision of a five trillion economy and please support us with Metro Rail, River Musi Development Front on the lines of Sabarmati River developed by you (Prime Minister)…” CM Reddy said.

It is essential to note that the previous KCR-led BRS government on multiple occasions did not even accord a formal welcome to Prime Minister Modi and skipped his events. However, CM Revanth Reddy, though a Congress leader not only warmly welcomed the PM but also made it clear that he does not want to antagonise with the Central Government merely for narrow political gains. Instead, he seems to put the welfare of the state ahead of petty party politics.

Interestingly, while Reddy is apparently not interested in furthering the ‘north-south divide’, his party has an infamous history of fueling regional divides in the country. 

Unsurprisingly, while the BJP appreciated CM Reddy for acting like a ‘statesman’ and setting the template for cooperative federalism, several anti-Modi leaders and Congress supporters have resorted to labelling Revanth Reddy as a ‘Sanghi’ and even ‘Modi’s agent’.

Bharath Rashtra Samiti (BRS) leader and daughter of former Telangana CM KCR, Kavitha Kalvakuntla took a swipe at CM Reddy over his elder brother remark for PM Modi as she wrote on X, “Look how deep the relationship between the big brother and younger brother is! Just shows the nexus between BJP and Congress parties. The brothers can like each others tweets and hug how much ever they want! Just don’t destroy our Telangana in this process! I won’t be surprised if the honorable CM deletes his tweet and claims that his account is hacked!”

Interestingly, Revanth Reddy has been subjected to criticism by Congress supporters and the anti-BJP ecosystem in general for not working exactly in line with the party’s narrative and having an independent thought and policy.

It is pertinent to mention Rahul Gandhi’s fixation with businessman Gautam Adani. Not a day goes by when the Gandhi scion does not say something slandering the businessman and accuses PM Modi of crony capitalism by favouring Adani and his companies. The Gandhi scion and Congress party has over the last few years gone all out to implicate Adani as a partner in crime with PM Modi. In this line, he even coined terms like ‘Modani’ and claimed that PM Modi is ‘employed’ by Gautam Adani.

Congress and Rahul Gandhi’s X posts attacking PM Modi and businessman Gautam Adani

Despite the Congress party and its prince’s anti-Adani stand, Telangana CM Revanth Reddy on 17th January signed four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) worth Rs 12,400 crore with the Adani group at the sideline of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2024 in Davos, Switzerland.

When the media questioned the INC, stating that while the Congress party has aggressively attacked the BJP government over Adani, then why did the Telangana government ink a deal with Adani Group, Congress leaders P Chidambaram and otherwise loudmouth Supriya Srinate refused to comment.

There is a long list of Congress party’s anti-Hindu proclivities, be it filing an affidavit in court saying that there is no historical proof of Lord Ram’s existence or Rahul Gandhi meeting Rijil Chandran Makkutty, the Youth Congress leader who slaughtered a cow in broad daylight in 2017 to mock Hindu sentiments. However, unlike his party’s actions, Revanth Reddy respects and follows Hindu Dharma. Notably, Reddy and his wife Geetha had performed Gau Pujan before casting their votes in Kodangal, Vikarabad in November last year.

Moreover, as the Congress party emerged victorious in the last Telangana Assembly elections, Revanth Reddy along with his wife performed a pooja before taking charge as chief minister amidst the chants of Vedic mantras.

If anything is abundantly clear from Rahul Gandhi and Congress leader’s personal attacks on PM Modi over the years, from ‘Maut ka Saudagar’, ‘Neech’, ‘Hitler’, ‘Neech’, ‘Ravan’, ‘R$ndwa’, to the recent ‘fake OBC’, it is that the Congress party despises Narendra Modi, and does not want even their regional leaders in constitutional roles to do anything that appears even remotely ‘supportive’ of Modi, prioritising party over benefits of the public.

Revanth Reddy did not join the ‘South Tax Movement’ initiated by Congress and its allies

Revnath Reddy’s silent dissent is not limited to just being courteous and respectful for the Prime Minister and praising his Gujarat Model. Recently, when some Southern states, all ruled by Congress or its allies, started the ‘South Tax’ narrative, demanding fiscal rights on the taxes paid, Revanth Reddy kept Telangana out of it.

Even when Kerala’s Vijayan and Karnataka’s Siddaramaiah held protests in Delhi over it, Revanth Reddy stayed away, and stayed silent on the issue.

Revanth Reddy had criticized Modi and had made several comments against the BJP in the past. But after assuming power as the CM in the state, his behavior and activities have been making it clear that he does not want to antagonise the Central government, instead, he has been sending a subtle message that the state and central government can work together, regardless of the parties in power.

Will the Congress high command ‘allow’ it?

In such a scenario, Revanth Reddy praising the Gujarat model, the Sabarmati Riverfront, PM Modi’s 5 trillion economy dream, and referred to Modi as his big brother….. showing a willingness to put narrow party politics behind and work for the greater good of Telangana people could anger the party’s ‘high command’ and could even end up in the leader being sidelined.

This is not mere speculation, for Congress has a history of sidelining its leaders who demonstrate ‘independent thought and policy’ as only the Congress High Command [read Gandhi family] is ‘independent’ in thinking and deciding on the script, while the rest are mere dramatis personae.

Notably, Sonia Gandhi has been the President of the Congress for the majority of the last two decades. It is widely known that the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has dominated the party since 1978, except for two brief stints from 1992 to 1998 when PV Narasimha Rao and Sitaram Kesri were in command. Sitaram Kesri was the last non-Gandhi family leader to hold the top leadership position in the Congress party, and his resignation was one of the most controversial. Years have passed, and political winds have changed but Congress’s culture of sidelining the ‘non-loyalists’ has remained unchanged.

When Shashi Tharoor was cornered for contesting Congress president election against the Gandhi family loyalist

In October 2022, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor was asked to cancel his Uttar Pradesh visit to avoid ‘clashes’ with the supporters of Gandhi family loyalist Mallikarjun Kharge. It was widely reported how Tharoor faced opposition within the party for contesting Congress president ‘elections’ against the choice of the ‘establishment’—Kharge. Interestingly, Tharoor wanted to end the Congress party’s “high command” culture which obviously meant the end of Gandhi family supremacy. However, he could not defeat the Gandhi family loyalist.

In November 2022, Tharoor was denied a place on the star campaigners list for the assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Around the same time, the Kerala Congress had distanced itself from Tharoor and backed off from hosting an anti-RSS seminar where the Congress MP was invited as a guest in Kozhikode. Back then, it was reported that Congress leadership had given unofficial orders to the party’s local units not to host any of Shashi Tharoor’s programs.

Sachin Pilot: The perennial CM-in-waiting

The power tussle between Sachin Pilot and Gandhi family loyalist Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan is not hidden. The Congress infighting reached its boiling point when Pilot rebelled against Gehlot and Gehlot called Pilot ‘nikamma’, ‘traitor‘ and whatnot. Although Pilot did not quit the Congress party, he is largely sidelined. In November last year taking a swipe at the two leader’s “half-hearted” reunion, PM Modi had called Sachin Pilot “Bechara” and “CM-in-waiting”

Back in 2020, ex-Congress leader and now a minister in the BJP-led government, Jyotiraditya Scindia had expressed his sadness over Pilot being sidelined as he alleged that “talent and capability find little credence in the Congress party.

Captain Amarinder Singh’s acrimonious exit from Congress

Back in 2021, the then Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh resigned from the Congress party after saying that he could not continue with the humiliation he was subjected to. Singh decided to quit Congress after the party called a meeting of the Congress legislative party in Punjab without informing him. Previously, the party had snubbed him by choosing Navjot Singh Sidhu as president of the Punjab Congress in July 2021, despite strong objections from Amarinder Singh.

Congress’s family-centric politics made Himanta Biswa Sarma leave the party

In September 2015, the Congress party lost a stellar leader from Assam when Himanta Biswa Sarma resigned from the Congress party saying that the “despotic family-centric” politics and “lack of democracy” in the party forced him to quit.

“From 2012, I observed that the situation was deteriorating and the party is losing respect due to the callous attitude of the state leadership. The third time victory had gone into the head, and arrogance started replacing compassion and dedication to work for the people. A sense of complacency and status quoism had engulfed the party leadership. A despotic family-centric politics constantly emboldened by a bunch of sycophants had never allowed a rational and neutral voice to reach to the Congress leadership in the state,” Sarma said while resigning from Congress.

Recently, Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is now a BJP leader and popular CM of Assam, after delivering back-to-back election victories to the party, recalled a humiliating incident wherein Congress prince Rahul Gandhi made his party workers eat biscuits from the same plate as his pet dog. Responding to an X post highlighting a similar disturbing incident of Rahul Gandhi offering biscuits rejected by his dog to party workers, Himanta said that he is a proud Assamese and Indian adding that he was the only Congress leader who refused to eat the dog’s biscuit and resigned from Congress. The incident took place when Sarma met Rahul Gandhi in the run-up to the 2016 elections to discuss Assam’s problems.

Back in 2022, Sarma had in an interview said that he had “wasted 22 years of my life in the Congress”. Speaking about the difference between Congress and BJP, Sarma said, In the Congress, we used to worship a family. In BJP, we worship the country.”

While politicians such as Jyotiraditya Scindia and Himanta Biswa Sarma were sidelined or mistreated in the Congress party, they now hold positions of talent and calibre after joining the BJP. It will be interesting to see how long Revanth Reddy can keep up with the Congress ‘high command’ with his independent approach.

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