Mass exodus of leaders leaves Cong high & dry in Seemandhra

Last Updated 18 March 2014, 13:06 IST

The Congress, which ruled Andhra Pradesh till last month, has now turned into an empty house in Seemandhra following the mass exodus of MPs, former ministers, MLAs and other leaders mostly into the TDP, protesting the bifurcation of the state.

In fact, a joke is doing the rounds in Hyderabad that the NTR Bhavan (headquarters of Telugu Desam Party) is fast turning into Gandhi Bhavan (the state Congress office), with the seemingly unending influx of leaders into the former from the latter, particularly from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

The Congress is likely to bleed further in Seemandhra as some of its top and powerful leaders like (Union Minister) Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, former ministers JC Diwakar Reddy, D L Ravindra Reddy and the likes are all set to cross over to the TDP.

The Congress could not even find persons to be fielded for elections to Urban Local Bodies in Seemandhra, slated for March 30.

In coastal town Eluru, for example, only nine Congress nominees are in fray for 50 divisions in the local municipal corporation. In the remaining divisions, not a single candidate filed nomination on behalf of the Congress.

The scene is no different in other districts in Seemandhra, reports indicate.

In the four districts that comprise Rayalaseema region, the Congress' house has totally emptied, though in four to five districts in coastal Andhra very few leaders still remained with the party.

Barring N Raghuveera Reddy, the newly-appointed chief of Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee, the party is left with not a single leader worth the name in Anantapuram district.

It's lone MP from Anantapuram Venkatrami Reddy switched over to the YRS Congress, while most of MLAs have joined the TDP.

Interestingly, former minister S Sailajanath from the district, who has been appointed vice-president of the newly-formed Jai Samaikyaandhra Party, floated by former Chief Minister N Kirankumar Reddy, is now reportedly looking towards the TDP. He is currently away in the US undergoing treatment for cancer.

(Published 18 March 2014, 11:26 IST)

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