Congress leaders in Telangana have drawn up a new “Exim” policy. Please don’t be mistaken by the word “Exim policy”, for it has nothing to do with export and import of goods or services. It’s literally export of their family members into other parties or political formations and import of some new faces into their party.
While the imported leaders like Konda Surekha, and Ramesh Rathod have multiple aspirants in their families, Congress is adding some fun element to the election, by ushering in former movie artistes and former revolutionary balladeers.
First, let’s discuss the exports
Take the case of Senior Congress leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy. He used to be called an “extra constitutional authority” when his father Dr. Marri Channa Reddy was the Chief Minister for the second time between 1989 and 1990. Earlier, this nickname was a tag attached to N Chandrababu Naidu during his father-in-law N T Rama Rao’s regime between 1983-89.
Inheriting the traits of Naidu being an “alternative power centre”, Shashidhar Reddy virtually pulled the strings during his dad’s Chief Ministership.
Call it gain or loss of inheritance, Shashidhar Reddy contested Sanathnagar Assembly constituency vacated by his father who was appointed as Governor, upon resignation from the Chief Ministership. Soon, Shashidhar Reddy joined the Nedurumalli Janardhana Reddy Government and continued even In Kotla Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy Government. All in the family, eh.
That Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy’s son, daughter-in-law, Nedurumalli’s wife, PV Narasimha Rao’s sons and so on, there have been hundreds of leaders who consecrated their wards in politics is a different story.
Now that the Congress, whose fulcrum itself is the inevitable Nehru-Gandhi family, seems to have made a rule that only one member from a family will be given the party ticket, the Congressmen are devising a novel method – of exporting their kin into other parties.
Shashidhar Reddy, for instance, “exported” his son Aditya Reddy into the M Kodandaram-led Telangana Jana Samithi. What’s the intent, you may ask? The answer: ‘To accommodate his son to contest the Assembly polls, while Shashidhar Reddy himself would contest on the Congress ticket and still can adhere to Congress dictum of ‘one family, one ticket.’
Similarly, former Deputy Chief Minister Damodar C Raja Narasimha, who did a hard bargain with the Congress for two tickets for his family, including one each for himself and his wife Padmini Reddy, failed to get an assurance. Without a wink, he “exported” her candidacy into the BJP. However, she’s back into the Congress fold, befooling the BJP and the Congress at the same time. It’s not known whether the Congress brass has made a course correction and Damodar C Raja Narasimha was assured of both tickets.
Next in line is said to be the Leader of the Opposition in the just-dissolved Assembly K Jana Reddy who wants to field his son from Nagarjunasagar and he would like to move to Miryalaguda Assembly seat.
Former Home Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy and her son Karthik Reddy are aspiring for Congress tickets.
Former Adilabad MP Ramesh Rathod wants two tickets.
What will TPCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy do if the Congress enforces “one family-one ticket” rule, for his wife Padmavathi Reddy was an MLA from Kodad Assembly constituency and he was an MLA from Huzurnagar constituency?
How would the Congress manage to accommodate Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and his brother Rajagopal Reddy?
What if D Srinivas returns to the Congress? Will, he not ask a seat for his son Sanjay too? Already, one of his sons is in the BJP.
Why do the Congressmen send their kin into the other parties? It’s entirely not because of the “newly imposed restriction” by the Congress high command.
They surely are developing cold feet as the poll date is nearing. So, they feel one of them can get elected and stay put in the power corridors if they contest from different parties.
And, these people cry hoarse when Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao gives an opportunity to his son, KTR, daughter, Kavitha, and nephew Harish Rao, who all relentlessly fought for separate Telangana by taking up aggressive roles in the agitation.
And, none of them has entered political positions through the legislative council. They fought direct elections and were chosen by the people with thumping majorities.
It looks like the proverbial the pot calling the kettle black when leaders of the family-ruled Congress pass disparaging remarks against KCR’s family. After all, KCR’s family members were not thrust on the people after KCR became Chief Minister. They earned legitimacy first and then, positions.