Congress rules out alliances in Andhra

Congress rules out alliances in Andhra

Oommen Chandy

As an anti-Modi coalition gathers steam, the Congress on Wednesday ruled out any alliance in Andhra Pradesh, a one-time stronghold where it was wiped out in the 2014 elections, and declared that it would focus on strengthening the organisation.

Congress leaders from Andhra Pradesh, led by AICC General Secretary Oommen Chandy, had a meeting with party president Rahul Gandhi to chart the future course of action as preparations begin for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections next year.

The ruling TDP's walking out of the BJP-led NDA had triggered speculation about a realignment of political forces in Andhra Pradesh, but Chandy ruled out an alliance with any political party in the state.

“Congress party's alliance is only with the people of Andhra Pradesh,” Chandy told reporters here adding that his primary task was to strengthen the organisation in the state from top to the bottom — the booth level.

Chandy also appealed to leaders who had quit the Congress during the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to rejoin the organisation.

“It has been decided that Congress agenda is to strengthen the party. That will be our priority. There is no question of Congress party having any alliance with any other party in the state," he said.

Chandy said the Congress president told the leaders that if the UPA came to power in 2019, Andhra Pradesh will be given special category status. “The file will be signed on the first day,” he said quoting Rahul.

The former Kerala chief minister said he would be visiting each of the 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh and make efforts to strengthen the party.