Rahul Gandhi meets Congress leaders from Andhra Pradesh, assures special status for the state if voted to power in 2019

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday met Congress leaders from Andhra Pradesh and discussed ways to strengthen the party in the state where it currently has no legislator.

Among those who were present during the meeting with the Congress president included All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh affairs Oommen Chandy and state PCC chief Raghuveera Reddy.

 Rahul Gandhi meets Congress leaders from Andhra Pradesh, assures special status for the state if voted to power in 2019

File image of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Reuters

Chandy later said Gandhi interacted with 25 party leaders from Andhra Pradesh and also had one to one meetings with all leaders and got their views.

"We discussed the problems of the state. Congress party in Andhra Pradesh has already started the process to strengthen the party in the state. The party leaders also gave their suggestions to strengthen the party in the state. We prepared an action plan for next four months to strengthen the party ie., from PCC level to the booth level re-organisation. We have finalised the programme," he told reporters later.

The former Kerala chief minister said he will go to every district and spend a day. He said in the first phase he will visit eight districts and spend another five days in the second phase.

Asked about the party aligning with other parties, he said, "There is no question of Congress party having any alliance with any other party in the state. Party will be organised and strengthened from top to bottom ie., booth level. This is our fourth months' action plan and programme."

"We have decided that our alliance is with the people of the State only. Congress party's alliance is only with the people of Andhra Pradesh," he said.

Chandy said in the Vijaywada meeting, the Congress leaders raised and discussed the important issue of special category status to the State of Andhra Pradesh, which was promised and announced by the then Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh at the floor of the House on 20 February, 2014 when the AP Organization Act was discussed.

The special category status will be given to Andhra Pradesh for five years.

It was a very categorical and specific assurance but Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) had then raised the questions, he said.

"When BJP came to power they behaved just opposite to that demand. They have not even honoured the promised assurance. This is a cheating to the people of Andhra Pradesh by BJP. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) was part of NDA alliance but nothing happened. Now they are opposing BJP and NDA but what happened for three and half years. Both BJP and TDP cheated the people of Andhra Pradesh. Jagan's party also did not do anything," Chandy said.

He said Gandhi told the party leaders clearly that if UPA came to power, special status will be given to Andhra Pradesh and the file will be signed on the first day.

Earlier Gandhi also met Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Working President of Telangana Congresss, Revanth Reddy and leaders from Telangana.

The Congress chief also met a delegation of Kisan-Khet Mazdoor Congress from Karnataka Congress.

He separately held another meeting with Kamal Hassan after he formed a party of his own in Tamil Nadu.

Updated Date: Jun 21, 2018 10:56:35 IST