The Telangana Congress leadership, having successfully roped in Telangana Jana Samithi chief Prof. Kodandaram into the alliance, have now big plans for the leader. Prof. Kodandaram was the chairman of the Telangana Joint Action Committee during the Telangana struggle till 2014, when the State was created.
Prof. Kodandaram was on par with K Chandrasekhar Rao during the statehood movement and had equal popularity among the people. He too had equal share in getting the statehood for Telangana. However, his differences with Chandrasekhar Rao during the 2014 elections created greater gap between the two leaders and they fell apart.
Now, the State is heading for first elections (2014 elections were held in the undivided State), and Prof. Kodandaram is in the rival camp against Chandrasekhar Rao. He had aligned with the Congress and Telugu Desam Party for the next elections. The Congress, which is playing a big brother role in the alliance, had decided to keep Prof. Kodandaram out of electoral battle.
It is not because he can’t win or the Congress leaders have doubts over his victory. But, the Congress leaders want to utilise Prof. Kodandaram’s charisma in the campaign in all the 119 Assembly constituencies. The Congress leaders have also decided to make him the chief of the manifesto implementation panel once the alliance wins the elections. He would get the Cabinet rank position guiding the government in implementing the poll promises for the next five years in office.
However, the Congress is yet to communicate this to Prof. Kodandaram and request him to accept the same. The Congress leaders have also decided to filed Prof. Kodandaram’s TJS candidates on Congress symbol as a new symbol would confuse the voters. If so, the TJS candidates would be technically treated as Congress candidates and will have to follow the Congress whip every time it is required.
It is not sure how Prof. Kodandaram would respond to this proposal. Even if he agrees for the State-wide campaign it is not clear whether he would accept to contest on the Congress symbol sacrificing his own TJS identity in the electoral battle.