The Congress leadership is toying with the idea of announcing the names of its prospective candidates for the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies ahead of elections.
AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi is reported to have responded positively to a suggestion made by the State MPs in this regard, marking a major shift from the earlier practice of identifying candidates after the election schedule is notified. He is learnt to have extended support to the proposal saying it would give sufficient time for the candidates to prepare for the polls.
Mr. Gandhi is understood to have favoured that the Pradesh Congress Committee and District Congress Committee leaders keep off from electoral politics and focus on strengthening the party. They could be compensated in due course by nomination to Rajya Sabha or the State Legislative Councils.
The close to one-and-a-half-hour meeting of MPs with Mr. Gandhi, the first such interaction, was stated to have centred around discussions on the present political situation in the State and the measures to strengthen the party in the run-up to next elections.
The Telangana MPs who raised the separate statehood issue are learnt to have told him that the party would lose people’s confidence if a decision was not taken in this regard. The complaint came in spite of Union Minister and AICC general secretary in-charge of State Ghulam Nabi Azad’s efforts to convince the MPs against raising contentious subject such as Telangana as it could send wrong signals that the party was thoroughly divided in the State. Mr. Gandhi is, however, understood to have assured them that he would convene a separate meeting with the MPs from the region.
Kiran draws flak
Several MPs reportedly complained against Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy’s “style of functioning” without taking the party into confidence.