Boycott RS polls: Congress

The Andhra Pradesh Congress had thrown yet another challenge to the ruling TDP and Opposition YSR Congress to mount pressure on the Central government to get the bifurcation benefits rolled out. APCC president N Raghuveera Reddy had asked Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Opposition leader Jagan Mohan Reddy to boycott the Rajya Sabha elections scheduled for March 23 in the State. The State would have to elect three members on the day to fill the vacancies falling on April 2 with the retirement of K Chiranjeevi, Renuka Chowdary and T Devender Goud.

Raghuveera Reddy wanted both the parties to boycott the Rajya Sabha elections as a mark of protest against the Central government for its failures to deliver what was promised to the State. The boycott of the election would certainly put pressure on the Central government to take up the issue and look into the demands of the State.

Earlier in 2017, the Congress had asked the two parties to boycott the Presidential elections. That was also a potential threat to the Central government to get things done for the State. However, the two parties have competed with each other lending support to the BJP-led NDA government. They remained silent on the concerns of the State and have compromised with the BJP for their political concerns.

Now, with people across the State holding protests for the Special Category Status and other benefits due for the State, the Congress chief had come up with yet another option for the two parties to reflect the sentiments of the people. If the two parties boycott the Rajya Sabha elections, they would be losing nothing. The elections could be held once again later as the seats cannot be kept vacant for long. But, the boycott would certainly attract the attention of the country towards the issues concerning the State. People in the State would discuss the demands of the State and would mount pressure on the Central government to start working for the State.

The BJP leaders and Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot remain silent to the concerns of the State for any longer. Quitting the Parliament and moving no confidence motion against the government are the constitutional rights of the parties. But, there are doubts about the parties taking up both or either of these options due to political compulsions. The TDP is not ready for no confidence motion or resignation. It is compelled to stay with the BJP for some more months for its own political interests. But, the boycott of Rajya Sabha elections is not going to give political troubles to the BJP like the no confidence motion.

As Raghuveera Reddy claims, boycotting the Rajya Sabha elections for this month sounds as the best option for these two parties. However, it is to be seen how these parties would react to the demand as they are under heavy pressure from the aspirants, who have already invested heavily for the seats. Will these two parties work for the interests of the State and boycott the Rajya Sabha elections or would work for the interests of its leaders who have invested keeping in mind the elections?

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