The Remarkable Rise of Revanth Reddy: ‘Outsider’ Overcomes Rivalry within Congress to Reach CM’s Chair


Congress leader Revanth Reddy is all set to be the new chief minister of Telangana. (File image: PTI)

Congress leader Revanth Reddy is all set to be the new chief minister of Telangana. (File image: PTI)

Since joining the Congress, Revanth faced considerable opposition from his own party. Though the warring leaders buried the hatchet just before elections, he was always regarded as an ‘outsider’ as he was not a Congress loyalist and had joined the party in 2017 after resigning from the TDP

Anumula Revanth Reddy is to be sworn in as the second chief minister of Telangana on December 7. He beat the other CM probable, senior leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, to the post after reportedly receiving the support of 45 Congress MLAs.

Known as a crowd-puller and fiery orator, Revanth has earned a reputation as a go-getter in the party.

Personal life

Born in a village called Kongareddypalli in Nagarkurnool district, Reddy has been active in politics since his youth. He completed his BA from AV College in Osmania University. An aide of the leader told News18: “Revanth’s father was a Police Patel, a person who had a powerful position in the now-abolished Dalapathi system of south India. The Police Patel was responsible for maintaining the law and order in the village. They commanded a lot of respect as a family.”

Revanth Reddy in his younger days. File pics/News18

Reddy is married to the niece of late S Jaipal Reddy, a former Congress MP. He was also part of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for some time, a fact that was milked by the Opposition this year to allege that he has ties with the BJP.

Political life

The Congress MP from Malkajgiri constituency shot onto the political scene as an independent MLC in 2007. He soon joined the Telugu Desam Party and became MLA from Kodangal in 2009. He won the seat again in 2014 and was elected the floor leader in the Telangana assembly. In 2017, he joined the Congress, and in 2021, he became the TPCC president after Uttam Kumar Reddy. This year, Revanth contested from Kodangal and Kamareddy, but could only win the former seat.

Haath Se Haath Jodo

Revanth undertook his “Haath Se Haath Jodo Yatra” in February and toured various constituencies in two months. This was an extension of the Bharat Jodo Yatra of Rahul Gandhi. Revanth was successful in highlighting the shortcomings of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi government among the people. He projected chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao as a feudal lord who ruled from his farmhouse. Given KCR’s general inaccessibility to the people, this claim rang true among the people. His connection to the people and oratory skills were able to convince voters to give the Congress a chance. Under his guidance, the state unit took up various issues like unemployment, student suicide, the Dharani portal, and corruption with urgency. His admirers say that he is someone who listens to suggestions and is ready to see a counter viewpoint. He was instrumental in choosing candidates for the 2023 assembly elections.

Trouncing rivalry within party

Since joining the Congress, Revanth faced considerable opposition from his own party. Though the warring leaders buried the hatchet just before the elections, he was always regarded as an ‘outsider’ as he was not a Congress loyalist and had joined the party in 2017 after resigning from the Telugu Desam Party. His quick rise and appointment as Telangana unit president in 2021 earnt him many enemies within the party. The other contenders for the CM post were senior leaders Uttam Kumar Reddy and Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, who had openly revolted against Revanth. His close associates say that Revanth has an independent way of functioning, which rubs seniors the wrong way.

Controversy

In 2015, Reddy was booked in the infamous cash-for-vote scam. He was caught allegedly trying to bribe an MLA to cast his vote in favour of TDP. The case is ongoing.



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