VIJAYAWADA: The Congress on Wednesday announced that it will go it alone in the coming elections and contest all the 175 Assembly and 25 Parliament seats in the State. The announcement by AICC State in-charge Oommen Chandy came just a day after TDP chief and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu met Congress supremo Rahul Gandhi in Delhi.
TNIE first reported about the unlikelihood of alliance between the Congress and the TDP in State elections on January 4.“We have decided to contest all the 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats,’’ Oommen Chandy said after a meeting of party’s office-bearers on Wednesday. Ever since Chandrababu Naidu joined hands with Rahul Gandhi there has been speculation that the Congress and TDP may go together in AP elections. The Congress and the TDP alliance in Telangana elections last year suffered a serious setback and there has been a rethink about extending the electoral alliance in AP. However, the two parties continue to share the dais at the national level in their effort to form a front to unseat the BJP from power at the Centre.
Congress fears TS repeat; SCS to be key poll plank
Notwithstanding their ongoing joint efforts to form an anti-BJP front, the two parties decided not to ally for the coming elections in AP after weighing pros and cons. It is learnt that the AICC leadership accepted the suggestion of the APCC against forming an alliance with the TDP in the State .
According to party leaders, the Congress was afraid of anti-incumbency factor marring its prospects as well and their four-and-half years efforts to resurrect and rejuvenate the party will go down the drain. Among the other factors that the State Congress leadership weighed was the fact that any alliance with the TDP might not translate into votes for the party considering ideological differences. “TDP votes, in all possibility, may not accrue to us and vice-versa,’’ a source pointed out.
The Congress fears any repetition of Telangana debacle could result in complete obliteration of the party in the State. The other significant factor behind Congress dropping the idea of alliance with the ruling party is Special Category Status. The Congress, which announced that AP would be accorded SCS if it comes to power at the Centre, believes the Chandrababu Naidu government did not do much to secure the status and, instead, settled for Special Package.
“With the YSR Congress making all efforts to expose the TDP’s ‘insincerity’ towards SCS, sailing with a party which has kept the issue on the back burner will be disadvantageous to us,’’ a source in the Congress added.
The Congress by making the SCS as its main poll plank hopes to reap electoral benefits. It is learnt that the Congress is keen on focusing more on winning Lok Sabha seats than the Assembly as it is of the view that it cannot emerge as a strong force in the coming elections in the State. “The party is more focused on making Rahul Gandhi Prime Minister,’’ a leader said.
Cong backs Feb 1 bandh
The Congress has extended its support to the February 1 State bandh call given by Pratyeka Hoda Sadhana Samithi.Oommen Chandy, speaking to reporters, also said that the party leaders would meet once again on January 31 to finalise the proposed yatra in February by the senior leaders of the party across the State. It is learnt that the Congress is more keen on focusing on winning Lok Sabha seats than the Assembly as it is of the view that it cannot emerge as a strong force in the coming elections in AP
AP set for a tough fight
The political picture in AP for ensuing elections has become clear. Except the Left parties, which announced to sail with Jana Sena, all the major political parties, including Telugu Desam, YSRC, Congress and BJP, are set to go it alone in the ensuing elections, which results in multi-cornered contest