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Congress's AP story: Doomed in Seema-Andhra, outsmarted in Telangana

March 19, 2014 14:09 IST

The thumping electoral victory the Congress had dreamt about is now a distant reality, says Vicky Nanjappa

The Congress is gearing up for a rough ride in both Seema-Andhra and Telangana.

The Congress, which scored consecutive victories in the state assembly elections in 2004 and 2009, is indeed in a sorry state in Seema-Andhra.

Few senior leaders are willing to contest from the region, which is still seething with rage over the bifurcation of the state, as they fear that it will end their political careers.

Many Congress leaders here are seeking greener pastures and sniffing out options in the YSR Congress and the Telugu Desam Party. The Congress is having a hard time trying to find candidates to contest the forthcoming local body elections, slated to be held near the end of March.

A proposal by Raghuveera Reddy, the chief of the Congress unit in Seema-Andhra, is currently waiting for the high command’s approval.

In order to woo Congress candidates into contesting in Seema-Andhra, where the party is doomed to meet its Waterloo, Reddy has suggested that leaders who agree to contest this year’s Lok Sabha polls should automatically be granted tickets for the 2019 polls.

But Reddy appears to be fighting a lone battle in Seema-Andhra.

Kiran Kumar Reddy, former chief minister and a prominent leader from the region, recently floated his own political party.

The Congress’s cup of woes is running over in Telangana as well.

In Telangana, in a desperate bid to defeat Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekara Rao, the local Congress unit wants party chief Sonia Gandhi to contest from the region.

The TRS recently dumped the Congress after alliance talks between the two parties, both major players in Telangana, fizzled out.

The Congress had agreed to create Telangana to ward off the political threat posed by YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy and finalise a merger with the Telangana Rastriya Samiti.

Leave alone a merger, the TRS has left the Congress high and dry by refusing to even consider an alliance with it.

The thumping electoral victory the Congress had dreamt about is now a distant reality as the TRS will eat into the party’s vote share in Telangana.

Today, the local Congress is banking heavily on Sonia amma. Given the immense goodwill garnered by her for approving the creation of Telangana, Congress leaders are hopeful that if she campaigns against Chandrasekara Rao, the party still has a shot at defeating the wily TRS chief.

Desperate for a victory, the Telangana Congress has invited both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi to contest the Lok Sabha polls from this region.

While the Congress will tell voters that it was the party responsible for the creation of Telangana, the TRS will woo them by claiming that its decade long struggle for the cause ensured the formation of the new state.

The forthcoming local body polls are likely to act as a curtain raiser for the Lok Sabha polls in the soon-to-be-divided state.

Image: Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh with fellow party leaders in Hyderabad ' Photograph: SnapsIndia

Vicky Nanjappa