Hyderabad, July 31: AP Congress Committee president D Srinivas has gone down like a Goliath in the by-election to the Nizamabad Urban constituency.
BJP’s Y Lakshminarayana romped home with a majority of about 11,000 votes, riding on the crest of the Telangana wave and dumping Srinivas in history’s dustbin.
Srinivas’ poll drubbing, the second in less than 15 months as PCC chief, appears to have sealed his career. His promise of delivering Telangana on a golden platter failed to cut ice with the electorate.
Already, voices demanding his removal as the PCC chief are being heard in the party.
The defeat has nipped his hopes of stepping into the shoes of chief minister Rosaiah. The shoes might be ready soon, as the Congress in all likelihood will not be too happy with Rosaiah either on the poll outcome, but it will not be Srinivas stepping into them.
If it was his intemperate remark in the run-up to the 2009 elections that had turned the Hindu voters against him, it is the Telangana factor and the party’s ambivalent stand on statehood that have did him in this time.
His position as the PCC chief was another hurdle that he could not cross. Being a representative for the entire state, he could not get vocal on separate Telangana.
For the same reason, he could not submit a report to the Srikrishna panel.
The TRS, which saw an opportunity in this to hit out at the PCC chief, taunted him with its support if he submitted a memorandum to the Srikrishna panel favouring a separate state.
Srinivas’ efforts in furtherance of his ambition to become the chief minister became too well-known with his supporters claiming that if he is elected, he would be an alternative to Rosaiah. But what they probably did not take into account was that at a time when MLAs resigned for the sake of Telangana, here was one leader trying to exploit the sentiment for personal gain.
Srinivas’ efforts to become an MLC and an alternative to Rosaiah in case high command looked for one, also didn’t materialise earlier. Though he had his doubts about his victory in the byelection, he entered the fray hoping to neutralise the T-factor with his resources.