ANDHRA PRADESH

Congress cadre still to get its act together

Uncertainty on alliance with Left parties for civic polls leaves workers unenthused

G.V.Ramana Rao

VIJAYAWADA: The State Election Commission's announcement that the municipal elections will be concluded before September-end has not had the desired effect on the Congress cadre, who is facing uncertainty.

The ambiguity about an electoral tie-up between the Congress and Left parties, the reservation of divisions and Mayor post for different categories and the criteria for selection of candidates have dampened the spirit of workers.

No headway

Although the APCC appointed an observer to coordinate between the different groups not consensus seems in the offing. The Left parties, however, are pushing for a common understanding. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary, B.V.Raghavulu, speaking in favour of an alliance, urged the APCC president, K.Kesheva Rao, to make the final decision.

Rumours too are having an impact on the psyche of the cadre. The reports of the Vijayawada's Mayor post being reserved for woman (general category) demoralised may male aspirants.

The proposal to divide members of the selection committee into groups of three -- one for each Assembly constituency -- is, the only step made to bring order out of chaos. The leaders and the cadre are happy with this, as it will prevent the respective groups interfering in the affairs of their rival groups. While the Left parties are usually keen on an electoral understanding, the local leadership -- Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, Kankipadu MLA Devineni Rajasekhar (Nehru) and Vijayawada East MLA Vangaveeti Radhakrishna -- have opposed it. They feel that Congress can bag most of the divisions on its own. The cadre is opposed to an alliance because that would mean the sharing of trophy with the Left parties.

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