Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy made a strong but unsuccessful pitch to the Congress vice-president, Rahul Gandhi, on Friday to roll back the party’s decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy made a strong but unsuccessful pitch to the Congress vice-president, Rahul Gandhi, on Friday to roll back the party’s decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.

Mr. Reddy, who was in New Delhi to attend a conference convened by the Mr. Gandhi with the Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled States, is understood to have said that the decision would be totally counter-productive in Seemandhra while it could at best win a handful of seats in Telangana.

The Chief Minister had a one-to-one meeting with Mr. Gandhi twice, both lasting about 50 minutes. Mr. Gandhi, according to sources, said that it was difficult for the high command to reconsider the decision as the credibility of the party and the Government would be at stake. He hinted that the party had taken the decision only after holding wide-ranging consultations with various parties and people of the three regions. The Chief Minister tried to impress upon him how Congress leaders were finding it difficult to convince people in Seemandhra about the party’s decision. They were holding it squarely responsible for dividing the State. The Congress would be wiped out in Seemandhra region if it went ahead with division.

It is believed that Mr. Gandhi expressed displeasure that the Congress was not reaping the desired benefit by taking a decision in favour of division. Mr. Gandhi asked Mr. Kiran to strengthen citizen charter and Mee Seva public utility services. Mr. Reddy spoke about the Lok Ayukta and the Ammahastham scheme.