Kiran also quotes from The Hindu-CNN survey to claim Congress can win poll
“For God’s sake, don’t divide Andhra Pradesh”, the Congress could do better in the 2014 Lok Sabha and AP Legislative Assembly polls even without giving Telangana, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy is said to have told the party leadership here while reiterating his stance for maintaining a united AP at any cost.
He even quoted the reports of “The Hindu-CNN-IBN Election Tracker Survey 2013” relating to AP to buttress his argument that the poll prospects of the party would not come down even if the separate State was not carved out. As per the survey, the Congress leads the overall vote share percentage with 32 (as per July 2013 estimated vote).
Referring to the survey, he said the Congress had a high vote share of 44 per cent in Coastal Andhra, 28 per cent in Rayalaseema and 27 per cent in Telangana. With this a minimum of 20 Lok Sabha seats and 150 Assembly segments could be won by the party in AP without conceding to the Telangana demand.
He reportedly pointed out that while the YSR Congress party had insignificant stake in the Telangana region, the TRS had no base at all in the Seemandhra region which would be beneficial overall to the Congress, the CM reportedly told Congress general secretary in charge of AP Digvijay Singh during his 30-minute discussion with him in New Delhi on the separate State issue.
Union Health Minister and former general secretary in charge of AP Congress Ghulam Nabi Azad was present in the meeting.
To support his argument further, Mr. Reddy also highlighted the improved performance of the Congress in the first phase of panchayat polls which just concluded in the State.
Meanwhile, some Congress leaders from Telangana and TRS expressed doubts on Digvijay Singh’s comment that the consultation process on the Telangana demand was over and the decision had to be taken now. They felt that it could be the Congress’ strategy to run the ensuing parliament smoothly as several important Bills have to be voted for which the support of Congress MPs from Telangana was needed.
“The Congress has not said so far that Telangana is going to be created. Let us wait”, they said.
APCC president Botcha Satyanarayana, in his 30-minute discussion with Digvijay Singh, too highlighted the party’s performance in the panchayat poll and told him a lot more candidates supported by the Congress would win in the next two phases of polls.
Interestingly, Deputy CM Raja Narasimha, a Telangana protagonist, was in discussion with Digvijay Singh for more than two hours, sources said.
Meanwhile, Information Technology and Communications Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah was confident that the separate State would be a reality this time and countered the arguments of Seemandhra leaders by wanting to know what they were doing so far when the party/UPA government and its leaders issued so many statements/policy documents, and poll manifestos in support of Telangana.
Before leaving for Hyderabad in the evening, Mr. Kiran Reddy called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and reiterated his stance on the issue, and also discussed about the resignation letters given by some Congress MLAs from the Seemandhra region.