Telangana, arguably, has been one of the most interesting contest among all the states that have gone to the polls recently. While Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao was confident of a victory for Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS), the Congress seems well placed to secure a massive win in the state.
There are 119 seats in the Telangana Assembly. Sixty seats are needed for a majority. At the time of writing, the Congress was leading in more than 65 seats and the BRS had a lead in less than 40.
Interestingly, Revanth Reddy, the chief of the Congress in Telangana, has maintained a lead over KCR in Kamareddy — a constituency KCR is reportedly using as a 'backup' option in case he loses Gajwel to his rival Etala Rajendra who is contesting on a BJP ticket.
During the whole election season in the state, certain candidates have stood out in the news for their persona and articulation skills, and Congress state president Revanth Reddy, according to many, falls under that category.
Anumula Revanth Reddy began his political career as a Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) member, and later joined the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS).
In 2006, he quit the TRS after he was denied a ticket to contest polls in the then undivided Andhra Pradesh. He then became a Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituency member, and later an MLC in 2008 as an Independent.
TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu recognised Revanth Reddy for his articulation skills and political jibes he greeted his opponents with — resulting in Revanth getting elected twice from Kodangal assembly constituency on a TDP ticket, in 2009 and 2014.
In the 2015 Telangana MLC elections, he faced allegations in the cash-for-vote scam. With Naidu and TDP's declining influence in Telangana after the state's bifurcation from Andhra Pradesh, Reddy switched to the Congress in 2017. He secured a Lok Sabha seat from the Malkajgiri constituency in 2019. In July 2021, he was promoted from the working president of the state Congress committee to the position of Congress president.
The 2023 campaign
Reddy is known for his sharp criticism of KCR and his children, who are also politicians, KT Rama Rao, K Kavitha. Recently, he took a jibe at KTR by stating that he belongs to the 'merit quota' whereas KTR belongs to 'management quota' — accusing KTR of being a beneficiary of dynasty politics.
KCR on his part has referred to Reddy as 'Telangana's pappu'. This was when Rahul Gandhi and Reddy went around campaigning against the KCR family calling the Kaleshwaram project 'a personal ATM of KCR'.
Reddy is being seen as a frontrunner for the post of the chief minister in Telangana, as the Congress maintains a steady lead ahead of the BRS in the state.
Since 2014, when Telangana was formed, it has only been KCR's administration. This will be the first time the state will witness a leadership change.
While Reddy switched to the Congress only in 2017, he had ties with the party since before. Reddy's wife Geetha Reddy is the niece of senior Congress leader, the late Jaipal Reddy.
Sharan Setty (Sharan K A) is an Associate Editor at Swarajya. He tweets at @sharansetty2.
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