After having a tough time in last three years due to Telangana issue and renegade Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh today held a convention to chalk out the road ahead for 2014 elections.
The meeting, attended by Union Minister and General Secretary in-charge of Congress affairs in Andra Pradesh
Ghulam Nabi Azad, put emphasis on the welfare and development programmes of UPA and of Congress government in the state.
The meeting brought leaders from Telangana and non-Telangana on a single platform. MP from Karimnagar (in
Telangana) Ponnam Prabhakar demanded that a minute's silence be observed to mourn the deaths of those who committed suicide in support of separate state.
State Congress president B Satyanarayana sought not to touch the sensitive issue, but pro-Telangana slogans were
shouted by some in the audience. Finally, Azad intervened and a silence was observed.
Azad said Congress was not weak in Andhra Pradesh, but coordination among party leaders, to take the welfare schemes to the people, was important for the party to win in 2014.
Noting that there had been a long interval after the previous state-level party convention, he said such meetings
would be held in the open henceforth.
Union Minister Chiranjeevi exhorted the party leaders to reach out to the people with confidence and explain the
welfare schemes of Congress governments.
Training his guns on TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, Chiranjeevi alleged that TDP opposed FDI in retail, while the
retail store owned by Naidu's relatives sought FDI for their business.
In an apparent reference to YSR Congress, he alleged that those benefited by Congress had tried to destabilise the
Congress government in the state.
Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, who spoke extensively on welfare schemes of his government, asserted that grass root level workers were the backbone of the party. Reddy expressed confidence that party would retain power in 2014.