First list for Assembly polls will be announced between March 22 and 28: Digvijay

Constituency watch: Andhra Pradesh

Indicating that the Congress is getting ready for the poll, the in-charge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh Digvijay Singh on Thursday said the first list of candidates for the Assembly elections in the State would be announced between March 22 and 28.

The AICC leader said the list of candidates short-listed here would be submitted to the screening committee at the high command-level before finalising the names. Stating that the party would not waste much time in the alliance talks, Mr. Singh maintained that he was on a mission to prepare a preliminary list of candidates, those of the aspirants filtered at the State level, and also to get the party prepared for the elections by finalising the campaign schedules.

A senior Congress leader not wanting to be named said the issue of alliance with the TRS is high on Mr. Singh’s agenda during his three-day stay here. Party sources said Mr. Singh would hold talks with K. Keshava Rao, who heads the TRS committee on alliances, and TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao on a probable alliance.

Mr. Singh had the preparatory talks with presidents of two new Pradesh Congress Committees of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh -- Ponnala Lakshmaiah and N. Raghuveera Reddy respectively -- working president of TPCC N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and party observers -- R.C. Kuntia and Thirunavukkarasu, both secretaries of AICC.

Several Telangana Congress leaders, including Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and Rajagopal Reddy, MLAs from Ranga Reddy district, Konda Murali and Konda Surekha called on Mr. Singh at a star hotel where he is staying. Mrs. Surekha denied reports that she is switching over to the TDP.