Rahul delivers a shock to TS, AP Congress leaders

Congress leaders from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh received a rude shock on Tuesday night as the reconstituted Congress Working Committee (CWC) was announced sans any leaders from the two Telugu-speaking States.

Belying strong hope that former Union Minister S.Jaipal Reddy could find a place in the CWC, the list prepared by party president Rahul Gandhi does not contain a single name from either TS or AP. While other south Indian States like Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have representation, it came as a surprise that none from the two States was considered.

The reconstituted CWC has 23 members, apart from 18 permanent invitees and 10 special invitees.

The Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee leaders in private expressed their disappointment at the newly reconstituted committee. Party leaders maintained that Telangana would go to elections in less than a year and a representation in the CWC would have given a big boost to the party leadership. A TPCC leader said the party had improved its chances a lot in Telangana and was hopeful of performing well in the next elections.

“Had the party given representation to one senior leader, it could have bolstered the image of the party. We will have to do a lot explaining now if other parties take a dig at us,” the leader remarked.

Party sources said if Mr. Jaipal Reddy’s name was not considered, the party could have taken a look at the names of former Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Raj Narasimha, a dalit, Ponnala Lakshmaiah or V.Hanumantha Rao, both BCs and former PCC chiefs and P.Balaram Naik, ST and former Union Minister.

Present TRS MP K. Keshava Rao was the last Congress leader from united Andhra Pradesh who was inducted into the CWC. INTUC national president Sanjeeva Reddy as the chief of the frontal outfit was included as special invitee.

Meanwhile, former TPCC general secretary G. Niranjan in a statement congratulated the AICC president on not including any leader from Telangana in the CWC as all the top leaders were indulging in groupism and damaging the party’s cause.

Congress leaders said in Andhra Pradesh, the party was getting its act together after its miserable performance in 2014 elections after the bifurcation of the State. Induction of a senior would have made the difference, a senior APCC leader said.

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