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Gaddar hugs, plants kiss on Rahul at Khammam rally

Gaddar hugs, plants kiss on Rahul at Khammam rally

Former Maoist ideologue and revolutionary balladeer Gaddar, who recently floated his Gaddar Praja Party, hugged Rahul Gandhi at the massive public meeting of the Congress here on Sunday.

The balladeer made a surprise appearance on the dais at the ‘Telangana Garjana Sabha’.

After shaking hands with Gandhi, Gaddar hugged him and planted kisses on the cheeks of the Congress leader amid loud cheers from the audience.

Gandhi too hugged Gaddar and invited him to take a seat next to him.

Before reaching the public meeting venue, Gaddar lashed out at Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for his autocratic approach. He said that KCR’s downfall has started.

It was immediately not clear if Gaddar was planning to join the Congress party.

On June 21, he had submitted an application to the Election Commission of India for the Gaddar Praja Party. Gaddar had told media persons the same day that it will be a people's party.

“Since right to live itself is endangered, our party will fight to safeguard this basic right guaranteed by the Constitution of India,” he said.

Replying to a query, he said he will contest the elections. He, however, said the constituency will be decided by the party.

In October last year, Gaddar had joined the Praja Shanti Party (PSP) of evangelist K. A. Paul and decided to campaign for the party in the Munugode Assembly by-election.

Soon after Gaddar announced formation of a separate party, Paul said he was suspending Gaddar from the PSP. Paul alleged that after joining the PSP, Gaddar had struck a deal with Telangana Congress unit President Revanth Reddy.

Gaddar, who severed his ties with the Maoists in 2017, enrolled himself as a voter the same year, and for the first time in his life, cast his vote in 2018. There were speculations in September last year that he will join the Congress.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Bhatti Vikramarka had requested him to join the party and play an active role in politics. Gaddar's son G.V. Surya Kiran had joined Congress in 2018. Gaddar too campaigned for Congress in a few constituencies but he did not contest the elections.

Gummadi Vittal Rao, popularly known as Gaddar, was a revolutionary singer and a sympathiser of Maoism, right from his days at the Osmania University Engineering College during the Telangana agitation in 1969-70s. He went underground in the 1980s and founded Jana Natya Mandali, a travelling theatre group.

Known for his soulful, melodious folk songs with simple lyrics, Gaddar attracted people, especially youth, towards Maoist ideology. The group later became the cultural wing of the CPI-ML People’s War, which merged with Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) in 2004 to form the CPI-Maoist.

Gaddar had escaped an assassination bid in 1997. Unidentified men had shot him at his residence on the outskirts of Hyderabad. He had blamed police and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government for the assassination attempt.

In the first-ever direct talks between then Andhra Pradesh government and People’s War in 2004, Gaddar, along with revolutionary writers and poets Varavara Rao and Kalyan Rao, had acted as emissaries for the Maoists. During his stint with the Maoist party, Gaddar strongly campaigned against electoral politics and called for a boycott of elections. In 2017, he gave up Maoism and declared himself Ambedkarite.


Tags: Rahul Gandhi Khammam Gaddar