'Parachute Leaders': Congress faces dissidence in Adilabad, Asifabad constituencies

In Adilabad, the Congress party had given a ticket to a NRI Kandi Srinivas Reddy who was earlier with the BJP

By S. Harpal Singh  Published on  2 Nov 2023 4:16 AM GMT
Parachute Leaders: Congress faces dissidence in Adilabad, Asifabad constituencies

Adilabad: Elections being a dynamic process, almost every instance throws up some unique attention-grabbing phenomenon like a catchy phrase or expression or simply a word that succinctly describes the political activity of the period.

Among the most famous expressions to have gained currency during elections past and present are the 'jump jilani' from the 2014 general elections and 'parachute leaders' which have become central to political discussions in many constituencies in the State.

A turncoat or fence-jumping politico was labeled jump jilani. A few NRIs or other aspirants of tickets, in whose favor parties chose to 'sacrifice' the 'hard work' of rooted leaders, have been labeled as parachute leaders in the current elections.

In the allocation of party nominations, political outfits have ended up generating dissatisfaction among those who were hopeful of getting one in their constituency of choice. In the old Adilabad district, such dissidence has hit the Congress party in the Adilabad and Asifabad (ST) constituencies.

This phenomenon is significant because it can cause damage to the prospects of the opposition party which seems to have a positive wave going in its favor. The 'original' leaders and supporters in the party accuse the high command of showing undue favor to the parachute candidates and have raised a hue and cry demanding nomination for those leaders who have worked hard.

In Asifabad, the Congress nominee, Shyam Naik, a retired Motor Vehicle Inspector is facing stiff opposition from the Adivasi groups who are accusing him of being an outsider in addition to other accusations regarding his professional life. Naik, who was the president of the Telangana Gazetted Officers Union and has served as MVI in Adilabad, Asifabad, and Jagityal belongs to the old Karimnagar district.

The Adivasi groups are rooting for Marsakola Saraswathi, a Raj Gond aboriginal leader who is a former sarpanch of Asifabad major gram panchayat. Their contention is that she being from an ethnic tribal group will be able to serve the estimated 90,000 Adivasi voters in a better manner than a Lambada tribe leader like Naik.

The Congress nominee, whose wife Rekha Naik was MLA from Khanapur constituency, had to face considerable antagonism from the Raj Gond voters of Daboli in Jainoor Mandal on the night of October 17 when he went there for campaign. The irate voters pointed out that he had no business visiting the village until he was nominated by the party.

In Adilabad, the Congress party had given a ticket to a NRI Kandi Srinivas Reddy who was earlier with the BJP. The party had ignored the claims of three senior leaders who have now joined hands to oppose the nomination.

The three leaders Gandrath Sujatha, A.Sanjeev Reddy, and Sajid Khan have decided to field one among themselves as rebel candidates to make things difficult for Srinivas Reddy in the hustings.

The party, however, is trying to placate the dissidents. It has given the task of bringing about rapprochement to Prakash Rathod, MLC from Karnataka who is an observer for the Adilabad Lok Sabha constituency.

Those locals in Asifabad and Adilabad who do not have an axe to grind with the nominees, nevertheless, assert that the dissidence is rather momentary. "They will finally forget the differences and work for the party contestants," quipped a voter who was debating the issue in a roadside tea shop.

Next Story