Congress president Rahul Gandhi spent two days in Hyderabad this week, rejuvenated the party leaders and the cadre in Telangana, addressed a few meetings to attract various sections of people in Telangana and had a lively interaction with the media.
During the two-day tour, Congress leaders from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh also met Rahul.
Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president N Raghuveera Reddy, former chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and AICC member G Rudraraju were among those who met Rahul in Hyderabad.
They reportedly requested the AICC president to plan a tour in different parts of Andhra Pradesh as well, so as to revive the party which is in dire straits.
They told him that the Congress can get back its life, at least to some extent, if Rahul addresses a few meetings and heal the wounds of the people who were hurt by the bifurcation of combined state.
They also reportedly told him that since the Congress Working Committee had passed a resolution in favour of granting special category status to Andhra Pradesh and Rahul himself announced the same in Lok Sabha, the people were gradually giving up their anger towards the Congress.
The way the Congress supported the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha also improved its credibility in Andhra, they said.
However, Rahul politely turned down their request.
“I will take a decision on visiting AP at an appropriate time. But not now. I have my own strategies and plans. So, don’t put pressure on me to come to AP,” he said, much to their disappointment.
What could be the reason for Rahul’s refusal to tour Andhra Pradesh now has now become a hot debate in the media circles.
According to sources, the Congress president does not want to visit AP now for the simple reason that his party is adopting a friendly stand towards the TDP as was evident from the recent developments.
“If he visits AP now, he has to speak against the Chandrababu Naidu government, and not Jagan or Pawan. At the most he can attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP. Since, the Congress is trying to make friendship with the TDP, it is not good for Rahul to talk about Naidu. So, it is better to avoid rather than spoiling the alliance,” a party source said.
So, Rahul might prefer to come to AP during the election time and straightaway target the BJP. By that time, he would get some clarity about his party’s friendship with the TDP.