For the first time, Congress party president Rahul Gandhi made an open announcement that if his party comes to power at the Centre in the next elections, it would grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
Rahul addressed a big rally organised by the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee at Parliament Street in New Delhi in support of the special category status to AP.
Admitting that the bifurcation of combined state in 2014 had caused untold miseries to AP, the Congress president said the earlier regime had little time to implement the Act in letter and spirit.
“It is the responsibility of the successor NDA government to implement the AP Reorganisation Act and grant special category status to AP. If it cannot take up, the Congress will give it once it comes to power in 2019 elections,” Rahul said.
In fact, the Congress party has very little stakes in Andhra Pradesh even in 2019 elections. Yet, the party has taken up a programme for SCS with a hope that it could increase the percentage of voting at least to some extent.
Since Rahul Gandhi himself has made an announcement, the party is now hopeful of winning at least a dozen seats in the next elections.
Secondly, the party might also hope for an alliance with the YSR Congress party, which is also in a dilemma on joining hands with the BJP after the latest fiasco over SCS.
In any case, the Congress is better placed than the BJP and if Rahul can tour the state and express his regrets for hurried bifurcation of AP, besides promising to grant SCS, the YSRC chances will improve, say sources.