Congress to contest elections alone in Andhra Pradesh

Vijayawada: Congress party in Andhra Pradesh has decided to go alone in the ensuing simultaneous elections to the State Assembly and Lok Sabha.

Party’s central leader Oommen Chandy, who is incharge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, on Wednesday said Congress had decided to contest all 175 Assembly and all 25 Lok Sabha seats.

The decision would mean that there will be no Grand Alliance of Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh. The two parties had jointly contested recent Assembly elections in Telangana but faced crushing defeat.

TDP, which is the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh, was also ambiguous on whether it would contest the coming elections in the State in alliance with the Congress party.

“I am connected with AICC not TDP or its leader Chandrababu Naidu. We will inform the high command and get permission,” was Chandy’s reply when asked if he conveyed the decision to Naidu. He said the decision for an alliance with TDP in Telangana was taken by the party’s central leadership.

The former Kerala Chief Minister said the party also decided to form all committees including election committee as per AICC directions.

“We have to nominate seven committees. We will give list of members to AICC this week itself,” he said.

He also announced that a meeting of all party conveners of Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies will meet on January 31 to discuss and finalise everything related to elections.

When asked if the party would find candidates to contest the elections, Chandy claimed that many people were ready to contest.

“I cannot say. People will decide,” he said when asked as to how many seats Congress would win.

In 2014, Congress had drawn a blank in both Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. He, however, believes that the situation had now changed and people of Andhra Pradesh have full faith in Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s promise to give special category status to the State.

Chandy said all leaders of the party under leadership of State Congress President Raghuveera Reddy would take out bus yatra in all 13 districts in February.