The Congress party’s leaders in New Delhi may have dropped hints that general elections could be advanced, but their counterparts here are hardly prepared to face the electoral battle, be it to the Lok Sabha or the Assembly.
Talk of early elections has left these leaders wondering about the party’s fate when its fortunes appear to be plummeting by the day. Elected representatives and party seniors fear that the Congress would not do well at the hustings due to a variety of factors.
These include infighting among senior leaders, division along regional lines, mutual distrust and growing distance between the top leaders and the cadre. The absence of a leader with mass appeal to lead the next election and regular defections to the YSR Congress and the TRS are also a cause of concern. In some constituencies, the local MP and the MLA do not see eye to eye and it could impact the party’s prospects, the leaders noted.
The ruling party would also have to fight incumbency caused by decisions such as fixing the quota for subsidised LPG cylinders and the Fuel Surcharge Adjustment (FSA) on electricity bills.
A former Minister said there was also a section in the party which was opposed to holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and Assembly. They feel that in the present scenario, the TRS would perform well in Telangana by whipping up sentiment while the YSR Congress was sure to make inroads in the Seemandhra region.
Their argument goes that shortcomings noticed in the Lok Sabha elections could be overcome in the Assembly elections if they are held at a later date.
Yet, another viewpoint is that when the going is tough for the party, it mattered little whether the elections are held simultaneously or separately.
Botcha meets Digvijay
Meanwhile, APCC president Botcha Satyanarayana called on AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh in New Delhi on Saturday amid speculation that the latter was likely to be once again entrusted the responsibility of supervising party affairs in Andhra Pradesh.