Telanagana Cong chief's remarks on Reddys-Velamas trigger row
Hyderabad, May 27: Less than a month after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited Hyderabad and warned party leaders against airing their differences in public, the party's Telangana unit is witnessing an uproar over certain remarks made by state chief A. Revanth Reddy about a particular caste.
Finding fault with Revanth Reddy's remarks, some Congress leaders asked him to withdraw the same as they hurt the sentiments of a community and may damage the interests of the party.
Revanth Reddy had said on Sunday that Reddys were better than Velamas in providing leadership and steering a state to development.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao is a Velama while Revanth and several leaders of Congress are Reddys.
With Revanth Reddy's comments and reaction by some party leaders sparking a new row in the party, MP and incharge of party affairs in Telangana Manickam Tagore posted the video clip of Rahul Gandhi's speech at TPCC headquarters at Gandhi Bhawan.
"Don't forget the words of our leader Rahul Gandhiji on May 7 th 2022 at Gandhi Bhawan," tweeted Tagore.
Describing Congress as a family, Rahul Gandhi had warned the leaders against voicing their grievances publicly.
"If there are grievances or complaints we have an internal system. You can openly say whatever you want to say but if anyone goes out and tells something to the media, he will be damaging the Congress party and we will not accept this," he had said.
He gave the warning as differences in the party's Telangana unit came to fore on several occasions. Leaders critical of Revanth Reddy's style of functioning had been speaking publicly.
At a meeting of Reddy community in Karnataka, Revanth Reddy, who is also a Member of Parliament, had termed Reddys as very reliable and strong. Digging into history, he said that there was a discord between Velamas and Reddys since Kakatiya rule. He stated that the Kakatiya kingdom had collapsed as Pratapa Rudra banked on Padma Nayakas (Velamas) instead of Reddys. Those who trusted Reddys neither incurred any loss nor were left to fend for themselves, he remarked.
Revanth Reddy also heaped praises on former (undivided) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, recalling that he helped the Congress to form a government at the Centre.
He also advised Reddys to continue farming. He went on to remark that if Reddys possess at least five to 10 acre of agriculture land, the country or the state will remain in their hands.
He said since the Reddys are giving up agriculture, they are losing connection with weaker sections like scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
The Congress leader came under fire for his remarks not only from ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) but from leaders in his own party.
Differing with Revanth Reddy's views, AICC Programmes Implementation Committee chairman Alleti Maheshwar Reddy said the Congress belonged to all castes and Velamas too have contributed to the growth of the party.
"Those who joined Congress recently may not be aware of the party's culture," he said in an apparent reference to Revanth Reddy, who joined the Congress in 2017 after resigning from Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
Finding fault with Revanth Reddy, Congress party's campaign committee Chairman Madhu Yashki Goud released an open letter to the media, suggesting him to withdraw his comments.
The former MP wants state unit chief to call a press conference and withdraw his comments as they are sending wrong signals and damaging the interests of the party.
Goud also voiced his displeasure over Revanth Reddy's remark that Rajasekhara Reddy was responsible for Congress's win in 2004 and 2009. He recalled that Congress stormed to power in the 2004 elections because of the Reddy-BC combination. The senior leader reminded Revanth Reddy that the growth of the Congress was due to the contribution of all communities.
He wrote that Revanth Reddy's statement had caused confusion and anger among the workers and the general public belonging to BC, SC and ST communities, who were quite offended with his observations.
However, Revanth Reddy tweeted that his comments were twisted to the convenience of those raising objections. He said people twisting his statements should focus on the issues in Telangana.
"Congress fights every day to protect the social fabric of this society & has always stood for the welfare of BCs, SCs & STs. Being the president of TPCC, I believe in this philosophy of inclusion," he tweeted.