The return of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy to the Congress may not make much difference to the party, which is struggling to find its base in the State.
Though Kiran’s return is being hailed as the first victory of AICC’s new general secretary in charge of the State, Oommen Chandy, party insiders believe that unless popular faces such as film star K Chiranjeevi lead the party in the State, it will not be possible to take on the ruling TDP and Opposition YSRCP.
Kiran met Congress President Rahul Gandhi here on Friday and announced the decision to return. Talking to reporters after the meeting, he said whatever he had attained in his political career was because of the Congress. In the present circumstance, the hands of Rahul should be strengthened, he added.
“Implementation of the Reorganisation Act, special status, special incentives — all this will be possible only if the Congress comes back to power. The present Indian government, State government and the opposition parties have failed miserably to implement the Reorganisation Act,” he said.
Chandy expressed hope that Kiran’s re-entry will strengthen the Congress in the State. As CM, he had done many good things for the State, particularly for SC/ST community members, Chandy said.
A senior leader in the Congress, however, termed the re-entry “insignificant.”
“His own party was flop. He was ready to come back. The issue before us is reinventing the party in the State. This will take time. It needs more efforts than just press conferences,” the leader said, adding that giving a free hand to Chiranjeevi could help build the party in the State.
The efforts by Chandy to reach out to YSRCP chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy did not succeed. “It was a wrong step. (Jagan) Reddy wants to kill the Congress. There is no point in inviting him back to the party. He wants an alliance with the BJP. The Congress should oppose him tooth and nail,” a senior leader from the State told BusinessLine.
Chandy has been meeting senior party leaders and trying to bring back those who quit. The Congress high command has been in two minds on alliance with the YSRCP in the State.