Cong ropes in Ravi to get its house in order in AP



New Delhi: Concerned over the party's graph going down in Andhra Pradesh, Congress today roped in Union Minister Vayalar Ravi for getting its house in order in the key state where by-elections to one Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly seats are expected soon.

Party sources said Ravi, an old hand in Andhra affairs, left for Hyderabad this evening to interact with party leaders and to assess the political situation at a time when the party is facing crises due to the Telangana statehood demand and the ascendancy of Congress rebel Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.

While there has been no official announcement about Ravi's task, the former AICC General Secretary is expected to be in the state for a few days.

Ravi's visit comes on a day Chief Minister N Kirankumar Reddy met Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Reddy is scheduled to be here till Wednesday.

Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has been in-charge of party affairs in the state since March last year.

The party high command has given 'buck up' call to Andhra Pradesh especially after the party suffered defeat in the by-elections held to seven Assembly constituencies recently.

Andhra Pradesh is the only major state where Congress is in power on its own and which has sent 30-odd MPs to the Lok Sabha.

Congress leaders feel Kiran Kumar Reddy has not shown the leadership qualities after being made the Chief Minister in November, 2010.

Eighteen Assembly bypolls are expected soon and they have given a nightmare to the party leadership at a time when Jaganmohan Reddy is on the ascendancy and the Telangana statehood issue refuses to die down.

The party is on a slide since the tragic death of Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy in September, 2009, four months after he led the party to a spectacular victory in the Assembly elections.

PTI