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Hyderabad: Senior Congress leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy Friday sought removal of the Telangana Congress chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy, terming his leadership as a "failure".

The demand of the four-time MLA and ex-Minister comes at a time when the Telangana unit of the Congress is facing a crisis of sorts after putting up a dismal performance in the Assembly elections last December.

Congress won only 19 seats in the 119-member Assembly, and since early March as many 11 of those MLAs have announced their decision to cross over to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, headed by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

There already talk in political circles that if two more Congress MLAs switch sides, they may decide to merge the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) with that of TRS which also means the Congress would lose its tag of main opposition.

Speaking to PTI, Shashidhar Reddy, also a former Vice-Chairman of National Disaster Management Authority, called for total overhaul of the party setup in Telangana, which is "long overdue and absolutely necessary".

"We have not focused on the organisation at the grassroots level; building the organisation at all levels is something which has been lacking," the son of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Marri Channa Reddy said.

Shashidhar Reddy alleged the Congress in Telangana, had missed a lot of opportunities to take on the TRS government, particularly to highlight its "glaring failures and corruption." 

As a result, the party has not been able to gain the confidence of the people, according to him.

"It's a clear case of failure of the (party) leadership in the state," Shashidhar Reddy said hitting out at the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee President and demanding his removal.

"We have not been able to give that kind of confidence to the people," he said and alleged the party's agitations against the TRS government have been "only on paper".

"There are many sections of society who feel threatened or let down; if we don't stand by them and gain their confidence, they will not trust you," he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy should have been made to step down "long back" as he has failed to lead the party with single-minded objective of winning elections and carry everybody together, he said.

"We have failed to win the confidence of the people.

It's a sum total of all the failures. We have not been able to take on the government, on all their shortcomings, failed promises," Shashidhar Reddy added.

Asked if he was ready to assume charge as TPCC President if the party's central leadership gives him the responsibility, he said: "Yes, absolutely".
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