Telangana Assembly Elections: KCR Vs Gaddar In Gajwel?

KCR to lock horns with Gaddar at home? - Sakshi Post

It was around three weeks ago that senior Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader T Harish Rao said he would happily quit politics after he was overwhelmed by the affection of people of Ibrahimpur in Siddipet constituency, where he was addressing the villagers in an informal meeting on the occasion of their unanimous decision to support him in the upcoming elections. Although his declaration was seen as an emotional outburst, it led to widespread speculation over the possible change of his constituency to Sangareddy from Siddipet, from where caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) was reportedly eyeing to contest. Political rivals like Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Raghunanadan Rao went on to say that KCR's decision to contest from Siddipet and not Gajwel made Harish Rao emotionally disturbed.

After a TRS survey reportedly suggested that there was a threat to CM KCR in his home constituency from Congress's Vanteru Pratap Reddy, who is believed to have gained traction after shifting his loyalties to the Congress from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) earlier this year. With a strong support already to his name in Gajwel, Pratap Reddy had also been supported in his fight against the TRS rule, in which out of the 4,500 plus farmers who committed suicide in the State, around 480 farmers belonged to KCR's constituency. Also, in a major embarassment to the TRS, a number of local TRS leaders and local body representatives had joined the Congress recently in the presence of Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Chief Uttam Kumar Reddy. The leaders included an MPP, two MPTCs, two former Sarpanches and two municipal councillors apart from hundreds of TRS workers.

Earlier this week, amid all the backlash and political activity in Gajwel, Telangana revolutionary, mass singer and Dalit rights activist Balladeer Gummadi Vittal Rao, better known as Gaddar, has announced his interest in contesting the upcoming Assembly polls. Despite the CPM's association with the Congress in the grand alliance, Gaddar had expressed that he would fight against caretaker KCR in the Gajwel Assembly constituency as an independent candidate if he has the support of all political parties and the people. Although Gaddar was vocal against TRS governement's attitude in addressing public issues, especially those of the 1,500 families of those who had sacrificed their lives during the Telangana agitation, Gaddar was in no way associated with any political parties in the last four years.

Nevertheless, political analysts assert that a popular public figure like Gaddar would be the right choice for the grand alliance parties to field against KCR, given the current political scenario and farmer suicides in the constituency, rather than Pratap Reddy. Gaddar's approach in the lead up to his today's meeting with Congress President Rahul Gandhi and former President Sonia Gandhi in Delhi appears to be a determined bid. A proof of this is his request for his security with Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajat Kumar citing his interest in contesting from Gajwel. Will KCR's political fortress in Gajwel crumble is the question of the hour.

Adding more fuel to the rumours around Gaddar's candidacy in the elections against KCR is the fact that his son Surya Kiran is already an active leader in the Congress. However, Gaddar squashed rumours saying no decision was taken yet. It is expected that Gaddar would feature in the preliminary list of contestants to be announced soon by the grand alliance.

Also Read: Congress Will Snatch Away Gajwel From TRS: Uttam Kumar

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