HYDERABAD: For chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, vanquishing the Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief in his citadel, Mahaboobnagar parliamentary constituency, appears to be his immediate goal.
As by-elections for three Assembly seats from the district will be notified soon, Kiran Reddy does not want to lose the opportunity of helping the party put up a better performance in the district, thereby telling KCR, who represents Mahaboobnagar in the Lok Sabha, that the Congress, as a party, and he, as the chief minister, are not down and out in the Telangana hinterland.
As of now, six Assembly seats have fallen vacant in Telangana— five caused by resignations and one by the sudden death of Congress’ as soc iat e membe r N Rajeswar Reddy.
Those who resigned are: Nagam Janardhan Reddy (TDP, Nagar Kurnool), Jogu Ramanna (TDP, Adilabad), Gampa Govardhan (TDP, Kamareddy), T Rajaiah (Congress, Station Ghanpur) and Jupally Krishna Rao (Congreess, Kollapur).
The three assembly constituencies situated in Mahabubnagar district are Mahaboobnagar, Kollapur and Nagarkurnool while the remaining three are situated one each in Adilabad, Nizamabad and Warangal districts.
Party leaders feel that the byelections would be held in the last week of February. Kiran Kumar Reddy is determined to loosen TRS’ grip over the region to the extent possible.
Even when Sakala Janula Samme was at its peak, the chief minister did not flinch from attacking the TRS and the TJAC to discredit them for causing hardship to the people.
Recently, the chief minister’s followers organised a massive public meeting at Shadnagar in Mahaboobnagar district where the Reddy openly announced: “I am addressing the public meeting in TRS chief KCR’s adda.’’ Political analysts believe that the chief minister was indicating to people that he was going to make every effort to end the suzerainty of KCR over the Telangana region.
The meeting was organised to celebrate completion of one year in office by the chief minister.
In the past too, the chief minister had visited the district and addressed a public meeting at Gadwal.
According to sources, the chief minister is of the view that unless a blow is dealt to KCR’s image in his constituency, the Congress cannot get the kind of new lease of life it badly needs now.
This is the reason why Kiran Kumar Reddy is concentrating on Mahaboobnagar district. Not taking chances or losing time, the determined Kiran Kumar Reddy has asked his colleagues to look for strong candidates who can stand up to TRS candidates in all the three constituencies in Mahaboobnagar district.
He has also activated the party machinery to engineer defections into the Congress from the TRS. In Kollapur, well-known TRS leader Vishnuvardhan Reddy has joined the Congress recently.
According to a leader from Telangana, if Reddy is serious, he can revive Congress’ prospects in the region.
“When the T movement was in full swing, the Congress won a Council seat from the MLAs quota by managing TRS MLAs to vote in favour of the Congress candidate and thus help him win the election. This is enough to say that the chief minister can fish in troubled water."