More candidates supported by the Congress will win in the next two phases of panchayat elections, asserted APCC president Botcha Satyanarayana.

Candidates backed by the Congress party will win more than half of the panchayats, he said. The Telugu Desam winning good number of seats in the panchayat elections is a flash in the pan while another party which was formed to “protect the loot” is confined to one or two districts, Mr. Satyanarayana remarked.

Addressing the media here on Wednesday, he said that too much was being read into the poor show of the ruling party in Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy’s native district Chittoor. A Chief Minister should not be confined to a single district as he was responsible for the whole State, and factors such as the inability of local leaders and performance of the candidates too could be the reasons, he said.

He disagreed with the findings of the CNN-IBN & The Hindu Poll Tracker survey which indicated that YSR Congress leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy topped the list of leaders best suited to lead the State. “Saakshi daily and news channel have claimed that candidates supported by the YSR Congress have won in every district, but can we believe it,” the APCC chief said. The survey indicated that 25 per cent of its respondents felt Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy was best suited to lead the State while Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu was the second with 17 p.c. followed by TSR leader K. Chandrasekhar (12 p.c.) and Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy (8 p.c). On bifurcation, the PCC chief reiterated his stand that “as head of a joint family” he would like a change in the opinion of some family members.

He said that the merger of the YSR Congress with Congress would take place when the time came and the Congress thought of taking back those who quit the party and only if they accepted the party’s philosophy and leadership of its president Sonia Gandhi.