Congress to take yatra route for revival in AP

Congress to take yatra route for revival in AP

Relegated to political margins in Andhra Pradesh, the Congress has decided to take out a yatra ahead of the Lok Sabha and the state Assembly elections.

The two polls will be held simultaneously in the state.

Top Congress leaders of the state will embark on the "Prathyeka Hoda Bharosa Praja Yatra" from February 19 and criss-cross all the 13 districts of the state covering each of the 25 Lok Sabha constituencies.

AICC general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, Oommen Chandy told DH that all the leaders of the state unit will hop on a bus and traverse 13 districts in 13 days— starting from Hindupur in Anantpur district.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is expected to join the yatra at Rajahmundry on February 27 and address a rally.

Since the bifurcation of the state in 2014, the Congress has been relegated to the margins of state politics that has been dominated by regional outfits— the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the YSR Congress.

In the Telangana assembly elections in December, the Congress had struck a pre-poll alliance with arch-rival TDP, a move that proved to be disastrous for the party.

Chastised by the outcome of the misadventure, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Rahul quietly decided to walk their own paths and dropped plans of an alliance in the state.

“We will contest the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections on our own,” Chandy said.

In the 2014 Assembly elections, the TDP had won 100 out of the 175 seats in the state, while the YSRCP could manage to win only 66 seats.

BJP had won four, while the Congress drew a blank.

The Congress received a jolt last week when senior leader and the chairman of the Adivasi Congress, Kishore Chandra Deo, quit the party to join the TDP.

It would be an uphill task for the Congress to make a comeback in the state, where the popular sentiment is against the party for its role in bifurcating the state.