Congress president Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to address a public meeting in Tirupati on February 22. As the party starts its bus yatra promising special category status to the State, the AICC president had finalised his visit to the State. The yatra will commences at Madakasira in Ananthapur district
This bus yatra of the Congress leaders would cover all the 13 districts and conclude at Ichapuram of Srikakulam district on March 3. The Congress leaders have planned series of public meetings in every town that the bus travels during these days. Every meeting would be addressed by top leaders of the party, including chief ministers of the Congress-ruled States. The AP Congress leaders are also trying to bring in the party’s new general secretary Priyanka Gandhi for one of these meetings.
AP Congress president N Raghuveera Reddy would spearhead this tour closely assisted by former chief minister N Kirankumar Reddy. Though other leaders of the party are likely to be in the bus, most of the leaders were asked to stay back in their respective districts and plan for the public meetings in their areas when the bus reaches them.
Meanwhile, the party is facing defections ahead of the elections. Several of its senior leaders have lined up to quit the party ahead of the elections. Former union ministers, Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy, V Kishore Chandra Deo and Killi Kruparani are in the exit gate of the Congress. While Suryaprakash Reddy and Kishore Chandra Deo are set to join the ruling Telugu Desam Party, sometime this week, Kruparani met YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy in Hyderabad this morning.
The Congress had lost several of its senior leaders in the 2014 elections. Several of them have joined the TDP, while a handful of them joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. This time, some of the senior leaders are set to leave the party further causing damage to the electoral prospects of the party. Though the Congress is not set to win even a single Assembly seat even in this election too, the exit of the senior leaders is set to have adverse impact on the party and its cadre ahead of the polls.