New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi
today asked party workers in Andhra Pradesh to be prepared for
the Assembly by-elections in the Telangana region, in what is
likely to be a test for the ruling party after the death of
former Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.
Gandhi conveyed this message to APCC chief D Srinivas
when he met her here at her residence.
"Get prepared for the by-elections," Srinivas quoted
Gandhi as having said during their meeting.
Asked if he would contest from the Nizamabad constituency,
which he had lost in last year`s Assembly polls, Srinivas said
the decision on the candidates would be taken only by the
party high command.
On the issue of former Chief Minister`s son Y S
Jaganmohan Reddy`s yatra to meet families of those who died of
shock after hearing about his father`s sudden demise in an air
crash during September last year, the state party chief said
the issue did not come up for discussion during his meeting
Srinivas also appealed to the party ministers and senior
leaders from the state to refrain from mudslinging against
The APCC chief had met Gandhi in the morning and apprised
the high command of the situation in the state.
He is also said to have discussed the party`s strategy
and candidate selection in the by-elections to 10 assembly
constituencies in the sensitive Telangana region.
By-elections to these constituencies were necessitated
after TRS MLAs resigned in protest against the delay in
formation of a separate state of Telangana a few months
Congress had recently announced that it would contest the
by-elections and it is likely that the party may reach an
understanding with actor-politician Chiranjeevi`s Praja Rajyam
Party for the polls.
The meeting also assumes significance in the wake of
Kadappa MP Jaganmohan Reddy postponing to July 8 his `Odurpu`
Jaganmohan postponed the yatra at the last minute last
week after the party high command asked him not to go ahead
with the yatra, which triggered violence in the Telangana