Regional Show

For the Congress, which failed to open its account in the assembly or Lok Sabha elections in 2014, the prospects for 2019 look no better.

The party is in limbo. After the disastrous tie-up with the TDP in Telangana, the state unit had hoped that former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy, party in-charge here, would be able to turn things around. But it isn’t happening. Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress and the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) have set the agenda here, with the Congress not even getting a say on the issue of the Centre granting Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile, the desertions continue unabated, the latest being six-time MP and former Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Kishore Chandra Deo. The party doesn’t exist in Andhra Pradesh. For the past four years, it has been in a state of paralysis, he says. Deo and another heavyweight, former Union minister Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy, are joining the TDP.

Despite the disenchantment, the Congress launched a 13-day padayatra covering 25 Lok Sabha constituencies, starting from Anantapur district on February 19. With this padayatra, Chandy hopes to woo back some of those who left the party for the YSRC.

Political commentator C. Narasimha Rao points out that electoral prospects are bleak not just for the Congress but also for the BJP. The Congress does not exist in the state. The Congress and BJP candidates may not even get back their deposits in any of the constituencies, he says.

The electoral battle, then, is practically between the TDP and YSRC in almost all the 25 Lok Sabha seats and 175 assembly constituencies. Congress contestants, who lost security deposits in more than a hundred assembly constituencies in 2014, may at best live in the hope that their party’s vote share will increase from the abysmal 3.5 per cent it polled in 2014. The big two are not likely to even open their accounts.


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