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Telangana Election Results: As Congress Leads, Who May Be Next Chief Minister?

Revanth Reddy has been the face of the campaign, but will he get the top post?

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Telangana is witnessing a Congress comeback like no other, pushing K Chandrasekhar Rao's Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) to a bitter second place. The Congress is leading 60-70 seats as per the latest trends, whereas the BRS is leading in 35-40 seats.

As the grand old party heads towards a massive victory in Telangana, the million-dollar question on everyone's mind is: who will be the next chief minister?

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president Revanth Reddy – who has been the face of the campaign – said after the exit polls that the high command would decide who the CM is, though he didn't rule out being in the race for the same. "All our MLAs deserve to be the CM, it is up to the high command," he said.

But would Revanth get the top post? Here's a look at all the CM probables.

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A Revanth Reddy

Revanth Reddy had a massive task ahead of him – bring the Congress out of its rut in Telangana after the party's massive defeat in the 2018 Assembly elections and in subsequent municipal and by-elections.

He appears to have done that, while also leading in his seat Kodangal (which he had lost in 2018) and taking on Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in Kamareddy.

But interestingly, Revanth joined the party only in 2017 and was a Telugu Desam Party leader until then. Within four years, he rose to the position of the Congress state chief, taking over the reins from senior leader N Uttam Kumar Reddy.

Revanth's rise was not well-received by the senior rung of leaders, though a leadership change was on the cards. In fact, his "autocratic" management style, his association with poll strategist Sunil Kanugolu, and his alleged "favouring of leaders close to him" promoted a rebellion within the Congress just last year.

Senior leaders like Dasoju Sravan and then Munugode MLA Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy quit the party in protest against Revanth.

While Raj Gopal Reddy is back in the party, several senior leaders, including him, are still learnt to keep their distance from Revanth.

It is unclear whether the party would choose him as the CM over the senior leaders – but as per the India Today-Axis My India exit poll, 21 percent of voters wanted Revanth to be the CM.

Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka

The India Today-Axis My India exit poll also projected that 22 percent of voters preferred any Congress candidate as CM – and one of the most preferred in this list was Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, who is leading by a good margin in the Madhira constituency.

A close confidant of Mallikarjun Kharge, Bhatti Vikramarka, the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader, has been a loyalist since the 1990s. The 62-year-leader is one of the prominent Dalit faces of the party.

He took out a 'People's March' across the state earlier this year as an extension of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, covering nearly 36 Assembly constituencies.

If Bhatti Vikramarka gets the CM post, he would be the first Dalit chief minister of Telangana, which would be yet another blow to KCR as he had promised to appoint Dalit CM when he first came to power and had failed to deliver on the same.

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Uttam Kumar Reddy

Nalgonda MP Uttam Kumar Reddy is a popular figure in the Nalgonda region, in the south of Telangana, where Congress is appearing to be leading right now. He served as the TPCC president from 2015 to 2021, and was succeeded by Revanth Reddy.

A former Air Force pilot, he has been an MLA from Kodad as well as Huzurnagar. In 2019, he vacated the Huzurnagar MLA post to contest and win the Lok Sabha polls.

His wife Padmavati contested from Huzurnagar in the subsequent by-elections but lost to the BRS candidate.

Uttam's stint as the Telangana chief coincided with the party's gradual decline in the state and the rise of the BRS and the BJP. He's also one of the senior leaders in the TPCC who is known to be uneasy with Revanth's leadership.

In an interview with News18, he said he would be "fine with any decision taken by the high command" for the chief ministerial post.

Other faces of the Congress include the Komatireddy brothers – Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy, who are also prominent in the Nagonda belt.

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