Hyderabad: Will Gandhi Bhavan become the second power center in the State following the appointment of the Transport Minister, Mr Botsa Satyanarayana, as the new PCC president?
This question gained importance in political circles after the manner in which the Congress High Command decided to entrust the responsibilities of the “weakening” State Congress to Mr Satyanarayana by virtually over-ruling the views of the Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, in the matter.
Amidst sudden political developments, Mr Satyanarayana rushed to New Delhi on a call from the AICC general secretary in charge of State party affairs, Mr Gulam Nabi Azad, on Monday. Soon after reaching the national capital, Mr Botcha and Mr Azad called on Ms Sonia Gandhi for discussions. Later the party spokesperson announced the appointment of Mr Satyanarayana as the new PCC president replacing Mr D. Srinivas forthwith.
It might be mentioned here that two other ministers, Mr Ponnala Laxmaiah and Mr Kanna Laxminarayana, were also in the race for the PCC chief’s post when the High Command began its exercise to revamp the State Congress in wake of the severe drubbing the party received at the hands of Mr Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and his YSR Congress Party in the by-elections in Kadapa recently.
Even as the High Command was weighing various options in the selection of the new PCC Chief, the Congress leaders from Telangana region made a strong plea for selecting a person hailing from the region to take the reins of the State party leadership. The Chief Minister, whose rapport with his Transport Minister was not good, tried to project his confidant and Minister for Civil Supplies, Mr D. Sridhar Babu, suitable to head the PCC.
However, the Congress High Command, rattled by the party’s miserable performance in Kadapa by-elections and worried over the “weak captaincy” of Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy, opted to hand over the reins of the PCC to Mr Satyanarayana, who hails from the Seemandhra region. It might be mentioned here that Mr Satyanarayan during the midst of Samaikya Andhra agitation in the Seemandhra region declared that there was nothing wrong in bifurcating the State.
Thus by appointing Mr Satyanarayana as the APCC president, the High Command has sent a clear message that the party’s interests were more important and that the organization need not always toe the line of the Chief Minister. Thus preference seems to have been given to a leader, who has the capacity to take everyone along with him besides taking his own independent decisions in a daring and bold manner without depending on the State administration.
The appointment of Mr Satyanarayana, a Kapu leader, also mirrors the fact the Central leadership of the party’s sudden interest to placate the powerful Kapu community in the coastal districts. Incidentally, even the Praja Rajyam party president, Mr K. Chiranjeevi, is also a Kapu and has been wooed to merge his party with Congress. There were also moves to offer a ministerial post to Mr Chiranjeevi in the Union cabinet and a few berths to his legislators in the State ministry.
All these factors amply prove that the Kapus, who are dominant in the coastal belt would be emerging as a powerful force in the State and overshadow the Reddy dominance. The new PCC president has already indicated that the party would be revamped with preference being given to youth thus indicating that the aged and deadwood in the party would be weeded out.