The Andhra Pradesh Congress is planning the visit of its national president Rahul Gandhi to the State once in every month. The party leadership in the State believes that the frequent visit of Rahul to the State would help the party revived from its debacle in 2014.
The plan is likely to start with Rahul Gandhi addressing a public meeting in Visakhapatnam in the third week of November. This would follow series of such visits to the State by Rahul Gandhi. The Congress is also working on organising group interactions for the AICC president in the State, perhaps at least one such event in every district.
The Congress had lost its base in the State to YSR Congress much ahead of the bifurcation. The 2014 bifurcation, which was executed by the Congress, finally victimised the party with people and leaders moving into the Telugu Desam Party and Bharatiya Janata Party. With leaders leaving the party either for TDP or BJP and the cadre going to the YSR Congress, only a few leaders are left in the party.
The left-over leaders have been working hard since 2014 to rebuild the party. The continued efforts and its promises on giving special category status to the state on priority have improved the party’s base in the grassroots to some extent. Some leaders say that the party’s vote share which was at its lowest of 2 per cent in the 2014 elections had now gone up to 5 to 7 per cent. The increase is because of the continued efforts – a programme in one city or the other every week.
The party had also kept its senior leaders like Digvijay Singh out of the State affairs as it was he, among others, who was adamant to the AP at the time of bifurcation. People cursed and crushed the Congress because of the arrogance that these leaders have displayed towards the concerns of the residuary Andhra Pradesh at the time of bifurcation. The War Room exercise and the injustice done to the State in dividing the assets and liabilities between the two States was the cause for the Congress to face the present crisis.
These efforts have helped the Congress to some extent and the present action plan, as revealed by senior leaders, to bring Rahul Gandhi to every district, is set to help the party to a greater extent, though not to come to power in the State in the near future. These efforts will certainly help the party to make its presence felt in the State.