Cong ready to fight polls on its own: YSR

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Hyderabad, May 14 (UNI) The ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh is prepared to fight the next Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state on its own, Chief Minister Y S Rajesekhara Reddy asserted today.

Describing the Congress as the ''reigning champions,'' he said amid loud applause, ''We will retain the championship, improving the tally to 35 to 36 Lok Sabha seats and 220 to 230 Assembly seats in the 2009 elections,'' Dr Reddy said while taking part in the party's celebrations to mark the completion of four years in office.

Exhorting the party cadre to get ready for the general elections in March or April 2009, he urged the party activists to propaogate the large number of developmental programmes and welfare schemes launched by the government, fulfilling all the major promises made to the people in the 2004 elections.

Giving a go-by to ideology, Communist party of India(Marxist) state secretary B V Raghavulu was trying to bring together the Telugu Desam Party and yet-to-be-floated party of matinee idol Chiranjeevi, Dr Reddy alleged.

Even while extending a hand of friendship to the Left parties, he asserted ''Whether a Left parties come with us or not we are prepared to fight the 2009 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state on our own strength.'' Questioning the secular credentials of the TDP, he reminded the CPI(M) that the TDP had entered into ''opportunistic alliance'' with the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 1999 general elections after holding the same party responsible for demolition of Babri masjid in North India.

Fearing the growth of the Congress party, the CPI(M) was pursuing its agenda of bringing all parties opposed to the Congress, throwing to winds ideology and values in politics, he alleged.

Dr Reddy also criticised the communists for launching agitations against price rise at a time when inflation was higher in China.

Admitting that the price rise was affecting some sections of people, he asked the party cadre to be vigilant and provide information to the government about hoarders.

The government was taking all steps to mitigate the sufferings of the poeple affected by price rise, he added.

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