Congress on shaky ground in AP ahead of 2014 polls

By: A Srinivasa Rao

The Congress party is going to face an uphill task in the next parliament elections in Andhra Pradesh, which had contributed 33 MPs to the party in the 2009 elections.

This was the impression given by the party leaders and cadres in general to AICC observer Amar Kale, who was deputed by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to review the party situation and assess its prospects in the next parliament elections. There are indications that the YSR Congress party headed by jailed Kadapa MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy is strongly placed in the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, while the Telangana Rashtra Samithi holds the advantage in Telangana region.

For the last four days, Kale has been touring various parliamentary constituencies in the Telangana region, where the party is facing a major crisis on account of its indecisiveness on the Telangana statehood demand.

On Tuesday, Kale interacted with the Congress leaders from Hyderabad and Secunderabad parliamentary constituencies to deliberate over the chances of winning the seats.

During his interaction with party leaders in various Telangana districts, Kale had learnt that the party had very little chances of winning the parliamentary seats in the region unless the Centre takes a positive decision on the Telangana statehood. The party leaders also brought to his notice that the cadres were demoralised with the high command completely neglecting the state. “In the last four years, there was not a single public meeting addressed by AICC president Sonia Gandhi or her son Rahul Gandhi in Andhra Pradesh, though it is a major Congress bastion in the South.

State minister for textiles Prasad Kumar said though Jaipal Reddy was doing a good job as union minister, the local Congress cadres want a young candidate if the high command chose to replace the union minister, who is apparently reluctant to contest the next elections again. He, however, told Kale that the chances of the Congress party would be bleak unless the high command takes a positive decision on the Telangana statehood issue.

The Rahul emissary had earlier visited Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Medak districts to assess the party situation and its prospects in the coming Lok Sabha elections. In Adilabad, Kale had noticed that the party was split into groups headed by District Congress Committee president C Ramchander Reddy and MLC K Premsagar Rao. The Congress party workers belonging to these groups virtually came to blows and physical assaults in the presence of Kale.

In Karimnagar, the AICC observer had to face a strong demand from all sections of the party for a favourable decision on Telangana statehood issue. Majority Congress leaders opined that sitting MPs could be re-nominated in the next general elections. Former minister T Jeevan Reddy told the emissary that if the Congress government did not recognise the sentiment of the people, it would not win a single seat in the district as well as in the other districts of the region. Kale promised them that he would convey the aspirations of the people to the party high command.

In Nizamabad, however, the local Congress leaders reportedly told the emissary that it would be better to change the sitting MP Madhu Yashki Goud. And in Medak district, Kale had received varied opinions on the candidates for Medak and Zaheerabad parliamentary constituencies. Here again, the Rahul emissary had to face the demand for announcement on separate Telangana state.

Courtesy: India Today

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