Kerala former chief minister, Oommen Chandy, who was appointed incharge of the party in Andhra Pradesh, had finally reached the State. He had arrived in Vijayawada for a three-day massive exercise with the rank and file of the party.
Chandy, a highly experienced leader from the South, was handpicked by AICC president Rahul Gandhi. He replaced Madhya Pradesh former chief minister Digvijay Singh, who was disliked by the people of the State for the arrogance that he had displayed at the time of bifurcation ignoring the cries of AP. Though he was incharge of the undivided AP, he did not care to protect the interests of the residuary AP and not even tried to listen to the people during the process of bifurcation. This was why the people have punished the Congress in the 2014 election. The party had lost its deposits in every election, gram panchayat, zilla parishad, municipalities, Assembly and Lok Sabha.
As the way the Congress behaved with the Seemandhra people during the bifurcation time, ignoring their cries and not protecting their interests, the people too have given the same treatment to the party. It would take at least two elections for the Congress to register a victory if Digvijay Singh was to be continued. Having realised this, the party had dropped Digvijay Singh and finally sent a soft-spoken Chandy to the State.
Chandy is said to be having a year-long action plan with him for the Congress to be revived. This being the election year, Chandy has to carry the rank and file together with a winning spirit, no matter the party wins any election in 2019 or not. It has to improve its performance this time and the leaders are expecting to receive 5 per cent votes this time against just 2 per cent votes it had received in 2014 election. Chandy has to work with the AP leaders to increase this 5 per cent votes or at least consolidate it.
He had fixed a tight schedule in the first visit where he would be interacting with the party district unit presidents and the frontal organisations leaders on the first day and the party State executive committee leadership on the second day. This interaction would give him a chance to understand the party’s position in the State and its strengths and weakness.
As the party now stands on the death bed, Chandy has to give a new lease of life to it bringing it out from the ICU. Will this Kerala’s leader be able to breathe life into the dead party in AP is a big question.
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