Chief Minister and PCC chief summoned to New Delhi on June 28
Congress party’s central leadership is expected to take up critical and full scale review of the by-election debacle on June 28 or 29.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana have been asked to be present in New Delhi on June 28 when UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee files his nomination papers. The AICC general secretary, Ghulam Nabi Azad, is likely to hold a meeting on by-election rout on the same day or the next day.
Despite calling on the AICC chief Sonia Gandhi and other central leaders including Mr. Azad, the Chief Minister and the PCC chief could not give a detailed briefing on the causes of poor showing but submitted their own reports.
The duo had given varying reasons for the party’s poor performance and victory in Ramachandrapuram and Narsapur constituencies.
On his return, the PCC chief called on Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy at the Camp office on Sunday to discuss political developments. They decided to defer review meetings with constituency-wise leaders till July 2.
State Congress leaders, who returned from New Delhi, said no one was in a mood to even give a look at the results. “As the central leadership is busy in seeking support for Mr. Mukherjee, the by-poll outcome became a non-issue for them,” a senior leader remarked.
Mr. Azad had casually interacted with the PCC chief on his return from an official visit to the US.
“Once the Presidential nomination is filed, we have been informed that the AICC plans to pay attention to Andhra Pradesh affairs,” another senior leader said.
Leaders noted that the AICC leadership is sure to take a serious view of the results as its candidates came third in 10 Assembly constituencies and lost deposits in four constituencies. The resounding win of YSR Congress in 15 constituencies and a close fight in Parkal is expected to take centre stage during the review meeting.
Meanwhile, humiliating defeat in Parkal Assembly constituency found an echo at party workers meeting in Hanamkonda when groups owing allegiance to Ministers – Ponnala Lakshmaiah and B. Saraiah and Chief Whip Gandra Venkataramana Reddy came to blows. The two Ministers were accused of working for the victory of YSR Congress candidate Konda Surekha.
Rajya Sabha member K. Chiranjeevi kicked up a row by stating that Congress would find it difficult to win the 2014 elections.
This has not gone down well with the ruling party leaders, who pointed out that the former Praja Rajyam chief was trying to deflect the poor showing in Tirupati seat, which he had represented till recently. Polavaram, Prathipadu, Rayadurg and Anantapur Urban are some constituencies, where internal bickering spoiled the party’s chances.