Rahul’s men start work in Andhra Pradesh

Yet another team of Rahul Gandhi’s emissaries, entrusted with the responsibility of gathering information on possible Congress candidates for the Lok Sabha constituencies in Andhra Pradesh, held detailed discussions with party leaders in the Assembly premises on Saturday.

Viswajit Rane and Jatinder Deshmukh, the third batch of emissaries, separately sat with leaders from all regions of the state and enquired about the party prospects in the coming Lok Sabha polls.

Former minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy told them an anti-incumbency wave has set in against the Congress government but not against the party. He said it would be in the interest of the party if the high command denies tickets to existing MPs and selects relatively young and fresh candidates.

He also indicated to them that YSR Congress chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy currently has a clear edge over others in the Rayalaseema region and hec it might be difficult for the Congress to put up a good show. However, he suggested that it would be wise if elections to the Lok Sabha and the Assembly were held separately.

He told them the YSRC leaders feel it will be advantageous for them if both elections were held together.

“If you club both elections, it would be difficult for the Congress. If you delink Assembly polls and go for Lok Sabha polls separately, only national issues will figure and Jagan may not have much advantage,” Diwakar Reddy said.

Meanwhile, a few Telangana leaders also met the emissaries and expressed their fears that unless the Congress takes a favourable stand on Telangana it might be difficult to face the electorate.

The emissaries are believed to to have questioned the leaders on the possibilities of having a tie-up with the YSR Congress.

A former minister opined that it was a difficult prop-osition as neither Jagan Mohan Reddy nor Congress chief Sonia Gandhi would like to have a poll tie-up but were it to happen, it would be good for the Congress.

Regarding performance of MPs and the possibility of fielding them, leaders expressed differing opinions based on their personal liking and group rivalries in the districts.

While Diwakar Reddy suggested that Anantapur MP Anantha Venkatarami Reddy be changed, minister Sailajanath told them he was the best candidate.

As reported earlier, both Telangana and Jagan factors pose difficulties in making a fair assessment of the Congress’ prospects in the Lok Sabha polls.

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