After a political ‘sanyas’ of nearly 15 months, former PCC president D Srinivas is back into active politics.
In a strategic move that could soften Telangana agitation, the Congress party nominated Srinivas as its candidate for the seat of Legislative Council which fell vacant after the resignation of former chief minister K Rosaiah after his elevation to the post of Tamil Nadu Governor.
The party tried to project D Srinivas as the party’s face of Telangana region and all stalwarts including Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, PCC President Botsa Satyanarayana, MLA Chiranjeevi and over a dozen ministers and MLAs were present when he filed his nomination for the MLC elections. According to party sources, known for his negotiation skills, Srinivas was the obvious choice for the MLC seat.
Srinivas served as the PCC President for three consecutive terms and the party has won elections twice in 2004 and 2009 under his leadership. However, he was marginalised by former chief minister YSR Rajasekhara Reddy and was allocated a non-significant portfolio of Rural Development. However, he lost the assembly elections from Nizamabad Urban seat in 2009 and again lost the by-elections in July 2010 to BJP candidate Y Lakshmi Narayana.
Although Srinivas was considered the second most powerful Congress leader in the State, but after YSR’s death, Rosaiah was made the Chief Minister as Srinivas was neither a member of the assembly nor the council. Further, in June this year, he was also stripped of the post of PCC President and was replaced with Botsa Satyanarayana.
The ongoing Telangana agitation might have led the Congress High Command to realise the importance of D Srinivas who successfully controlled the pro-Telangana parties during his tenure as PCC president. He is said to be having close proximity with Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao. It was D Srinivas who played a key role in giving TRS a political life in 2004 by convincing the party for a tie-up on 42 assembly and six Lok Sabha seats in the region.
The ongoing Telangana general strike has exposed that the Congress party lacks a strong leader in region who could emerge as a face of the party, source said. Leaders including Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, Panchayat Raj minister K Jana Reddy, Rajya Sabha MP K Keshav Rao or former ministers Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and Jupally Krishna Rao do not match the profile of D Srinivas. Therefore, the Congress party selected him to represent the region.
However, it is not yet known whether D Srinivas would be inducted into the State Cabinet or would be assigned with some responsibility in the party, but it is for sure that the Congress High Command would use his skills in re-organising the party, especially in the Telangana region.
The presence of leaders including the Chief Minsiter and PCC president on the occasion of filing of nomination was a clear indication that Srinivas enjoys the strong backing of the Congress High Command.
After submitting his nomination before the Assembly Secretary Raja Sadaram, D Srinivas thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi for nominating him as a MLC candidate. He said he would try to give his best in whatever responsibility he is assigned with by the party. However, he avoided questions related to separate Telangana. (INN)
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