APCC names its MLC candidates for three graduate constituencies

Dara Gopi

Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh Congress on Saturday announced the names of three MLC candidates for the ensuing elections. Banking totally on the “Special Category Status” demand for the State, the AP Congress had jumped into the election with an eye on the graduates in north coastal and Rayalaseema districts.  

APCC president N Raghuveera Reddy announced the names of Yadla Adiraju for the Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam graduates constituency followed by Masulu Srinivasulu for Ananthapur, Kadapa and Kurnool and Dr. Yaluri Ramachandra Reddy for Chittoor, Prakasam and Nellore districts graduates constituency. Leaving the local body representatives, the Congress had set its eyes on the graduates constituency with the slogan of fighting for the Special Category Status to the State, a promise that was made on the floor of Lok Sabha at the time of passing of the AP Reorganisation Act 2013.

The AP Congress had been fighting for the special category status right from the bifurcation of the State. The total wipe out of the party in the 2014 elections from Assembly to the gram panchayat did not deter the leadership to continue the fight for the Special Category Status. Its leaders led by Raghuveera Reddy have been fighting for the cause in the State and in Delhi too.

The party had successfully collected 1 crore signatures from the people of all the 13 districts in favour of the Special Category Status. The signatures were sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukharjee, seeking their attention to the promise made by the Central government before Rajya Sabha finally voted for the bill.

The APCC had also prevailed upon the AICC chief Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi to write to the Prime Minister reminding him of the promise on the Special Category Status. Interestingly, the APCC leadership had also made former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to speak in Parliament recalling his promise on the floor of Rajya Sabha.

Raghuveera Reddy had mobilized support from 11 parties that have representation in the both Houses of Parliament in support of the demand for the Special Category Status when Rajya Sabha took up the private member bill tabled by Congress MP K V P Ramachandra Rao. Rao’s bill had generated expected heat across the State for the cause and that had, to some extent, helped the Congress to breath in the State.

The private member bill and the subsequent fight of the Congress leaders from the State for Special Category Status had helped the Congress reach out to the educated unemployed in the State on which, the party is now banking upon to enter into the Legislative Council.

The going back on the Special Category Status and announcing Special Package by the BJP and TDP is seen as a betrayal by the people, particularly the educated unemployed. In fact, the tall promises of Narendra Modi and Chandrababu Naidu during the 2014 elections in the State on their commitment for the Special Category Status are still afresh in the minds of the people. The pain of the unjust bifurcation was digested by the people of the State only on the promise of Special Category Status, which is expected to bring more investments into the State leading to employment creation. Now, the package is not seen as an alternative to the Status and it is here that the Congress wants to have an edge.

Though Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had compromised on the package in place of Status, the people across the State are not buying his lies on the benefits that the package would bring. Because it was Chandrababu Naidu and Venkaiah Naidu who have explained in detail to the people about the benefits of the Special Category Status during their electioneering in 2014 and any word in substitute to the Status is seen as a betrayal. Sensing the mood of the people, the Congress had jumped into the election race to take an advantage.

Well, victory in these three graduates constituencies is not going to be the main objective of the Congress. But what matters is that the Congress with the slogan of Special Category Status is all set to make the ruling combine to run for life.

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