Following a series of discussions, Telangana’s newly appointed Chief Minister, Revanth Reddy, took the oath of office on Thursday, December 7. Accompanying him as Deputy CM is Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, who aspired to the chief ministerial role himself. Nonetheless, the historic nature of Vikramarka’s appointment lies in being the first Dalit to hold this position in the country’s youngest state.
However, according to political analysts, having a Dalit chief minister would have aligned with the Congress’ ‘maarpu’ (change) agenda. This resonates with Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Chandrasekhar Rao’s commitment in 2014 to appoint a Dalit CM, which he reneged on twice.
During an interview before the Assembly elections, Bhatti Vikramarka had said: “For the post of Chief Minister, the Congress party has many capable leaders to lead the state and head governance. And it is an asset to the Congress party and also the state. I am also one among them … I am among the aspirants of CLP leader.”
Bhatti Vikramarka, who won by a margin of over 35,000 votes in the Madhira constituency in the 2023 elections against BRS’ Kamal Raju Lingala, is a four-time MLA – and a Congressman through and through.
Early ABVP connection: Revanth Reddy’s political journey Beating all odds of his political career and starting from scratch as an ABVP student member, Anumula Revanth Reddy became Telangana’s youngest Chief Minister on Thursday.
Driven by ambition and occasional audacious dreams, he spent 17 years in politics without being part of a ruling party or occupying any administrative role. Despite this, he held a fervent aspiration and strong determination to ascend the political ladder. His firm belief remained in the transformation of dreams into reality. To be the Chief Minister was his strong desire much before he came into electoral politics and the one he developed during his stint with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) as a student but interestingly, he has never been part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). During elections, he consistently found himself deeply involved and initially made an impact by securing victory as a committee member in the esteemed Jubilee Hills Cooperative Housing Society. This area is home to prominent figures from politics, corporations, and the film industry.
His oratory skills and ability to use the Telangana dialect to connect to the people caught the attention of TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu who invited him to join the TDP. Always willing to take risks, Mr. Reddy turned down Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy’s invitation to join the Congress and accepted TDP’s proposal.
He then contested as MLA from Kodangal in 2009 on the TDP ticket and defeated the five-time Congress MLA Gurunath Reddy. Interestingly, TRS (now BRS) chief K. Chandrashekhar Rao had an alliance with the TDP in 2009 and Mr. Reddy worked for the victory of KCR who contested as the Parliament member from Mahbubnagar.
Mr. Reddy repeated his success in 2014 as TDP candidate and was made the working president of the Telangana TDP after the State split. Realising that TDP has little future in Telangana with Mr. Naidu going to Andhra Pradesh as Chief Minister, Mr. Reddy joined the Congress in 2017 after resigning from the Assembly.