Hyderabad: Anumula Revanth Reddy, the 49-year old from Kodangal constituency in Mahabubnagar, enjoys the status of a godman.

“Idhar cut karlethu, tho Reddy unnai," Govardhan Yadav, a farmer in Kodangal says, mixing both Hindi and Telugu to express his loyalty toward his legislator, who is firmly cemented in some of their hearts.

The leader, who was touted to be a front runner for the top post if the Congress-led alliance won, suffered a defeat in his constituency. Reddy and several influential leaders of the Congress lost their seats in the elections where TRS won a majority on its own.

Few dispute the fan following he commands, especially among young

supporters with his fiery and politically charged speeches. The loud and enthusiastic cheer from crowds when Revanth Reddy’s name is mentioned, even in the presence of Congress party president Rahul Gandhi and other stalwarts, gives some indication of his wide support base.

Having switched sides from Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in October last year, Revanth Reddy’s fame and position have risen rapidly in the Congress and state politics, earning him many followers, endearing monikers and opponents alike.

“Kodangal is known all over the country because of our leader," says J.P. Goud, a resident of the constituency. Though Reddy was married to a relative of senior Congress leader S. Jaipal Reddy, Revanth refused to join any party and decided to successfully contest the ZPTC (Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituency) seat. He cut short his five-year term in office and scouted for other larger political opportunities and successfully contested the legislative council elections from Mahabubnagar district in 2007 independently. Despite the proximity to the Congress, Revanth joined the TDP and after only two years in office as MLC, he contested the

assembly elections from Kodangal, which was not even his home constituency, and against the ‘Dora’ or powerful landlords, also Reddy’s. He won and again retained his seat in 2014,

after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, and later switched over to the Congress in 2017.

The midnight arrest of Revanth Reddy on the day Telangana chief minister, K. Chandrashekar Rao was to address a mega rally in Kodangal before polling catapulted the former’s reputation even higher.

Strangely no other Congress leader from the state raised the matter in public forums or online immediately, despite its potential of shifting tides a day before end of campaigning, showing the deep divide within the party.

It’s no secret that Revanth Reddy was a name in the offing for the chief minister’s post, but with TRS trouncing the Congress (by winning 86 of the 119 seats), it is to be seen how the former MLA bounces back in the coming days.

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