AICC team to survey AP poll landscape

An AICC team will be visiting all the critical regions of Andhra Pradesh beginning January first week as part of efforts to revamp the district Congress committees (DCCs) ahead of the 2014 general elections against the backdrop of the Seemandhra agitation protesting the bifurcation of the state.

The team will zero in on candidates for the state Assembly elections by launching a survey. “The AICC survey will coincide with the visit of Congress General Secretary in-charge of state affairs Digvijay Singh to Visakhapatnam and other places in the Seemandhra region,” a party spokesperson said. The APCC has already prepared a list of candidates for all the Assembly constituencies, with three probable candidates proposed for each seat.

APCC President Botsa Satyanarayana has expressed readiness to accept the resignations tendered by the DCC presidents of Anantapur and Kadapa districts, where the agitation has been most severe.

Botsa has also informed all DCC units that he will attend meetings in all districts in the first week of January. Party sources said that the DCC presidents of West Godavari, Krishna, Prakasham, Khammam and Adilabad districts may face the axe in the forthcoming revamp of the party structure.

The fire-fighting exercise was announced after an intra-arty survey revealed that at least 30 legislators might be considering jumping ship to other parties. Vijayawada Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal had put the figure of discontented Congress leaders at about 70 MLAs and 12 MPs if the decision to divide the state was not reversed.

State minister for infrastructure Ganta Srinivasa Rao has blamed the mad rush to leave the Congress entirely on Botsa. “If the APCC chief takes the initiative to communicate with the High Command, why do party MLAs want to leave Congress? Reverse the decision, none of the MLAs will leave the party,” he says.

The trigger for the expected migration from Congress to other parties will be the “passing” of the draft T-Bill in the state Assembly. A majority of Seemandhra leaders fear that Chief Minister Kirankumar Reddy will not be able to stop the passing of the T-Bill.

Among the ministers, Satrucherla Vijayaramaraju held a meeting with his followers, apparently to discuss his political plans to quit Congress. It is believed that the minister's first choice is YSR Congress. Similarly, education minister K. Partha Sarathi has also expressed his intention to leave the party and is waiting for the Chief Minister to quit the Congress and launch a political party.

Two former ministers, Dharmana Prasada Rao and Mopidevi Venkataramana, both accused in the assets’ case related to YSR Congress leader Jagan, are all set to join the YSR Congress. Ministers TG Venkatesh, Erasu Pratap Reddy, Galla Aruna Kumari and S Sailajanath might also follow the steps of the chief minister.

Facing an uncertain future, minister for mines and geology Galla Aruna Kumari is set to send her son Galla Jayadev to the TDP.  Jayadev, who is now PCC secretary, is said to have got an assurance of a party ticket for the Guntur Lok Sabha seat from the TDP. Galla herself will soon decide on her future course of action, sources close to her said.

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