AP bypolls: Cong coordination committee holds meet

Andhra Pradesh Congress Coordination Committee held a crucial meeting ahead of the bypolls to be held in June to 18 Assembly constituencies and one Lok Sabha seat.

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Congress Coordination Committee on Sunday held a crucial meeting ahead of the bypolls to be held in June to 18 Assembly constituencies and one Lok Sabha seat.

Union Minister and AICC in-charge of Congress affairs in Andhra Pradesh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, state unit Congress president Botsa Satyanarayana, Rajya Sabha member Chiranjeevi, Deputy Chief Minister C Damodar Rajanarasimha, senior Congress MP K S Rao, former PCC president D Srinivas and former minister Mohd Ali Shabbir, who are members of the committee, attended the meeting.

The leaders left the Chief Minister`s Camp Office, where the meeting was held for an event, scheduled to be held in the city, without talking to waiting reporters.
The meeting assumed significance as it was held to discuss selection of candidates for the byelections.

While main opposition TDP and the YSR Congress of Jagan had already announced nominees and kicked off campaigning in right earnest, it is felt that the delay in naming candidates has left the Congress behind its rivals.

The bypolls to 16 of the 18 seats were necessitated due to the disqualification of sitting Congress MLAs who switched loyalty to Kadapa MP Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, while another MLA quit in support of Jagan.

Chiranjeevi quit as MLA following his election to Rajya Sabha which caused bypoll in another seat.

Congress` task to pick candidates in at least six
constituencies is compounded by a large contingent of contenders seeking nomination.

Besides the selection of nominees, Azad was also expected to iron out the alleged differences between the chief minister, PCC president and the deputy chief minister.
The chief minister and the PCC president were summoned to Delhi earlier to resolve the alleged differences between them.

Union minister Vayalar Ravi flew down to Andhra Pradesh earlier this month to take stock of the prevailing situation in the state Congress.

Besides meeting a large number of leaders, he also visited East and West Godavari districts where the bypolls are scheduled to be held.

Ravi`s visit triggered speculation that he might replace Azad as AICC incharge for AP which was dismissed by him.