A fighter all through, Surekha gets back into limelight again with Cabinet post

A die-hard loyalist of YSR family

December 08, 2023 08:59 pm | Updated 08:59 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Congress party senior leader Sonia Gandhi greets newly sworn in cabinet minister Konda Surekha at the swearing in ceremony of Telangana government in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Congress party senior leader Sonia Gandhi greets newly sworn in cabinet minister Konda Surekha at the swearing in ceremony of Telangana government in Hyderabad on Thursday. | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G

Its a story of grit and determination to take on the political rivals with full might that makes newly-appointed Minister Konda Surekha a fighter.

Romping home with a thumping majority of over 55,000 votes in the Assembly elections from Warangal East constituency, the 58-year-old Congress leader has yet again shown her political acumen.

Ms. Konda Surekha’s political journey from Mandal Parishad president almost three decades ago to first time MLA in 1999 from Shayampet constituency in Warangal district is a classic case of waging a spirited fight. One of the key loyalists of late Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Konda couple took on the mighty in their fight for their political survival.

Sheer hard work paid dividend yet again in 2009 when she won from Parkal constituency. She was rewarded by late YSR by making her the Women Development and Child Welfare Minister. She did not hesitate for a minute to resign as a Minister after Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy was not made the Chief Minister following the tragic death of YSR in a chopper crash in 2009.

She faced her biggest challenge in 2010, when she stood solidly behind Y.S.Jagan Mohan Reddy during the latter’s proposed ‘Odarpu Yatra’ in Telangana. She along with her supporters took on the Telangana agitators at Mahabubabad railway station where pitched battles ensued leading to police firing. The incident is termed a watershed in the separate Statehood movement.

In 2011, she quit her membership of the Assembly to support Jagan. In the byelections held next year, she lost with a slender margin from Parkal constituency.

A bitter critic of the BRS (earlier TRS), Ms. Surekha joined a little before the 2014 elections protesting the differences with the YSR Congress Party leadership. She won the election from Warangal East constituency but lost in 2018 on Congress ticket. Again she entered the Assembly in the just concluded election with a thumping majority to become a minister for the second time.

A leader with independent thought, she has never minced words to criticise her rivals and call spade a spade.

It would be interesting to see how she settles down in her new innings as a Minister in the Revanth Reddy cabinet.

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