It was a sudden and unexpected decision on the part of Congress president Sonia Gandhi who on August 1 relieved senior leader and All India General Secretary Digvijaya Singh of Telangana party affairs. In a release , Janardhan Dwivedi, AICC Organisational Secretary, said that AICC secretary and former MP R C Khuntia was made full-fledged in charge of Telangana and would be assisted by former Karnataka Minister and AICC secretary Satish Jarikholi. Digvijaya Singh is still the in charge of AP Congress affairs. It means the Congress leadership wants to have two persons to monitor the affairs of the party in two Telugu states. It is reported that Digvijaya Singh himself wanted to be relieved of the Telangana responsibility as he was planning to undertake Narmada Parikrama Padyatra in his home state of Madhya Pradesh. Whatever may be the reason of this decision, the driving force is that Sonia Gandhi is now determined to strengthen the party in every state in view of the fact that the opposition was weakened by the Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar’s decision to join hands with the BJP and thus to destroy the Grand Alliance.
Digvijaya Singh had been holding the in charge post of AP and then both Telugu states for more than four years. As a matter of fact he played a key role in the bifurcation of the state. Sonia Gandhi was the Messiah of Telangana, but the Congress failed to project this image in the 2014 elections and the TRS leader succeeded to surge ahead. With the majority seats, he formed the government and the Congress could not convince the people that it was Sonia Gandhi who facing all odds took the decision to create a new state. Now it is the story of the downfall of the Congress. After bifurcation, many senior Congress leaders joined the ruling TRS. Neither the state leadership nor the in charge of the party affairs could do anything to stop the flow towards the ruling party. Telangana was second in the number of farmers who committed suicides and in Khammam protesting farmers were hand-cuffed.
The Congress could not capitalize on this and other issues. Dalits protested against the sand mafia but they were suppressed by the brutal police force. Neither the state leadership nor the party in charge could highlight the issue. Meira Kumar, the former speaker of the Lok Sabha, and the opposition Presidential candidate, visited Sircilla and highlighted the issue. It is reported that Meira Kumar’s briefing to the Congress leadership about the party affairs in Telangana was instrumental for the sudden change in Telangana. It is also worth mentioning that earlier Digvijaya Singh was relieved of his party responsibility in Goa and Karnataka. In every case, the party leadership seems to be determined to strengthen the grassroot support of the party. Congress hopes the new in charge and the state leadership will leave no stone unturned to come up to the expectation of the party High Command.