Congress President Rahul Gandhi (left) meets revolutionary Telugu balladeer Praja Gayakudu Gaddar. (Rahul Gandhi Twitter via PTI Photo)
TELANGANA BALLADEER and Dalit rights activist Gummadi Vithal Rao, popularly known as Gaddar, met Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday and expressed desire to be a “bridge” to bring secular political parties together and take on the “few fundamentalist forces” and “neo-feudal” forces in the state, indicating the BJP and the TRS, respectively.
Gaddar, 71, also said that if all political parties want it, he will consider contesting against Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, popularly called KCR, in the state elections. While he told The Indian Express after meeting Rahul and Sonia Gandhi that he is not interested in joining the Congress, he added that he will be part of any movement launched by the party to “save the Constitution, and save India.”
Sources said Rahul had asked whether he would like the join the party. Gaddar’s son G V Surya Kiran, who had joined the Congress in April, accompanied him.
Asked about speculation that he could contest against KCR, Gaddar said, “People are asking me to contest from Gajwel (KCR’s constituency). I have said that if the people demand that, and all political parties unanimously want it, I will think about contesting.”
Gaddar said that unlike KCR, who was born in Siddipet, “I was born in Gajwel. My vote is there — for the first time I have registered (as a voter), and I want to vote.”
Stating that he has been organising cultural programmes on the theme ‘Save Constitution, Save India’ for the past one year, he said, “Since Rahul Gandhi has also said he is saving the Constitution, I thought I should meet him. There will be a fight between secular forces and a few fundamentalist forces (in the upcoming elections), and I want to become a bridge among the secular forces.”
Gaddar told Rahul and Sonia Gandhi that Telangana, the state the Congress-led UPA had created, has gone into the hands of “neo-feudals”, indicating KCR and his party, the TRS.
He invited Sonia and Rahul Gandhis to a cultural event he is planning in Telangana.
On Facebook, Rahul wrote, “Amongst the many issues we discussed was how to defend our Constitution from the systematic attack by the forces of fascism that seek to undermine it. I look forward to hearing Gaddar sing his songs of revolution and to watch one of the plays he has scripted…”
Gaddar also said he will meet former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and political leaders such as Sharad Yadav.