Politics

Congress to Stay Out of 'Grand Alliance' in Andhra, Contest 2019 Polls on Its Own

The party has said it will not form a pre-poll alliance in state for the assembly or general elections.

New Delhi: After its pre-poll alliance with the Telugu Desam Party in neighbouring Telangana came a cropper, the Congress on Wednesday asserted it would contest on its own the upcoming elections in Andhra Pradesh, both to the state assembly and the Lok Sabha.

AICC general secretary and former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy made this announcement while making it clear that the Congress will not form an alliance with the ruling TDP in Andhra Pradesh.

“We will contest all 175 assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats alone. The TDP allied with us only at the national level, so we will have no truck (with it) in the state,” he maintained.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the Pradesh Congress Committee office-bearers here, Chandy said they would meet again on January 31 to discuss the poll preparations.

The state Congress also decided to undertake a bus yatra in all the 13 districts in February, he said.

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APCC president N. Raghuveera Reddy said they left the decision of electoral alliances to AICC president Rahul Gandhi. However, he hastened to add that the Congress would fight the elections in Andhra Pradesh on its own.

The announcement came a day after Andhra Pradesh chief minister and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu met Rahul in New Delhi. Naidu had said then that the decision on an alliance would be taken based on what workers from both parties wanted, Hindustan Times reported.

The Congress, which formed a pre-poll alliance with the TDP and two others for the recent assembly polls in Telangana, ended up with 19 seats, down from 21 in 2014, while the TDP won two seats as against 15 last time.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi won 88 seats in the 119-member assembly to retain power.

(With PTI inputs)