Monday, Dec 29, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
"At least, I am positive about alliances among the Opposition parties. It should not be a big surprise if we fight the elections jointly," the APCC president, D. Srinivas, told a news conference here on Sunday when asked about the unity moves of the Opposition.
Mr. Srinivas welcomed the move for simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and the State Assembly and said the Congress would benefit in such an event. To substantiate this view, he recalled that Congress swept the Lok Sabha polls in the entire country under Indira Gandhi's leadership in 1980 but when the Assembly elections were held in Tamil Nadu within three months, the AIADMK returned to power. This was at a time when the Congress had won all the Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, the two States where the AIADMK wielded influence.
Similarly, the Congress, which was routed in three States, could expect a reversal of the situation in the Lok Sabha polls. In the past, electoral losses had always given the party a chance to overhaul the organisation and update its strategies, he said.
Mr. Srinivas said the Congress would not announce its Chief Ministerial candidate as this was not the appropriate time. Allotment of the party ticket to contest elections would be purely on the basis of winning chances. The job would be handled solely by the party high command, he added.
The APCC president denied that the Congress was promising ticket to new entrants to the party. Not a single candidature was finalised so far, he said, adding that it had come to his notice that some aspirants had declared themselves as candidates in wall writings. He warned that this would boomerang on them.
Mr. Srinivas promised pucca houses for all hut-dwellers within the five-year term if Congress was voted to power. The party would revise the wages of beedi workers and provide 90 per cent subsidy on equipment for micro-irrigation. It would give top priority to employment generation and give a sizeable representation to weaker sections while allotting the party ticket.
Earlier, Mr. Srinivas, hoisted the party flag at Gandhi Bhavan to mark the 119th foundation day celebrations of the Congress.
The former Chief Minister, N. Janardhan Reddy, the AICC secretary, V. Hanumantha Rao, and the former Ministers -- P. Janardhan Reddy and J. Geetha Reddy -- participated in the function. The former Congress Minister, Sangeetha Venkat Reddy, rejoined the party while Bhagyalakshmi, wife of the former APCC president, Mallikarjun, entered active politics on the occasion.
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