Rahul to hold exclusive T meet

Rahul to hold  exclusive T meet
Highlights

To confer with Cong MPs from Seemandhra and Telangana separatelyA Puts party in poll battle modeA ...

  • To confer with Cong MPs from Seemandhra and Telangana separatelyA
  • Puts party in poll battle modeA
  • Wants welfare schemes publicizedA
  • Seeks suggestions on strengthening party in APA
  • Invited to OngoleA
  • Hears complaints against CM

Venkat Parsa New Delhi: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday put the Andhra Pradesh Congress in battle mode. He said he will hold a meeting exclusively on Telangana, with Telangana and Seemandhra Congress MPs separately. The T Congress MPs, led by Manda Jagannatham and S Rajaiah, reiterated to Rahul that nothing short of statehood will do and failure to take an early decision will prove to be politically suicidal for the party. Rahul has assured them that a meeting will be held exclusively to discuss Telangana.

In his interaction with the Andhra Pradesh Congress MPs in the Congress War Room at 15, Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Road in the Capital, Rahul focused his attention on issues relating to strengthening the party in the State and preparing the party for the electoral battle ahead. At the outset, he was greeted by the Andhra Pradesh Congress leaders for his leading role in the Congress victory in the Karnataka Assembly polls. It could be replicated in Andhra Pradesh, if the party works in unison, it was pointed out.

The Congress Vice-President indicated that the party should consider readying the list of candidates for the elections well in advance, so that they can work in their respective constituencies. He was keen on the party taking the welfare schemes to the people and publicizing the same, as that should be the major poll plank for the party during the polls. Rahul also underlined the need for the Congress leaders to regularly go to the people and explain the issues in the Congress perspective. In a way, Rahul Gandhi's emphasis was on mass-contact and a reminder that the party leaders are losing their contact with the people.

Stating that that this was only a preliminary meeting, Rahul promised to hold a follow-up meeting within a month and invited all those present to come up with suggestions on strengthening the Congress in Andhra Pradesh.

Nearly 18 Congress MPs took part in the meeting, though the Union Ministers from Andhra Pradesh largely did not speak. Almost all the Union Ministers attended, barring some exceptions, even as the majority of the Congress MPs were present. The State Congress leaders flagged the problems besetting the party. Some of the DCCs and Mandal Congress Committees are headless and there is an urgent need for party revamp.

T Ratna Bai presented a note to Rahul Gandhi, in which she emphasized on the need for galvanizing the party cadres in the State. It was also pointed out that whenever the cadres were given a programme, they vigorously implemented it. There was a need to galvanise the cadre, in order to enthuse them, ahead of the elections. Mangunta Srinivasulu Reddy invited Rahul Gandhi to visit Andhra Pradesh and particularly to Ongole, to which Rahul Gandhi nodded.A Manda Jagannatham raised the issue of categorization of SC quota. Usha Mehra Committee Report is with the Government but no decision has been taken so far, he said.

The Congress leaders, like former APCC President V Hanumanth Rao, G V Harsha Kumar, G Vivek and S Rajaiah referred to problems relating to coordination. State Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy was accused of unilaterally announcing the welfare schemes, with no consultations preceding it and without involving the party cadres in its implementation. The Chief Minister was using it as his one-man show.

Hanumanth Rao said he planned to organise a weaker sections' conference and wanted Rahul Gandhi to attend the same. He also stressed on the need for more frequent meetings of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Coordination Committee, where all issues should be discussed threadbare. He also emphasised that the party should proactively counter the allegations hurled at the Congress by TDP and YSRCP. If such an exercise is undertaken only at the time of elections, such an exercise would not carry credibility. The Congress should immediately counter the allegations levelled by the Opposition, so that the people get a fair version of both sides and they will have time to make up their mind.

Hanumanth Rao also suggested that whenever Ministers visited the districts, they should also visit the DCC offices and interact with the cadres, which will go a long way in enthusing them. He pointed out how Karnataka was divided into four zones, which brought focus on every particular region in that State. He wanted such a plan to be replicated in Andhra Pradesh.

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