AP poll verdict not a referendum on Telangana : Congress

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New Delhi, Jun 2 (UNI) The Congress today said the outcome of the bypoll verdict in Andhra Pradesh could not be treated as a referendum on any single issue, including statehood for Telangana.

''It was not a single-issue election. So it is not a referendum,'' AICC Spokesman Abishek Manu Singhvi told mediapersons, while pointing out that "We have not fought on any single issue. We went to the electorate with many issues, including development, peace and inclusive growth." He said the good showing of the Congress in by-elections to five Lok Sabha seats and 15 assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh was approval of the good work done by the Rajasekhara Reddy government.

In this context, Dr Singhvi said that the poll outcome also demonstrated that when there was good governance and inclusive development, anti-incumbency was not an issue.

On the issue of statehood for Telangana, Dr Singhvi said the creation of separate state of Telangana in Andhra Pradesh would be decided by the ruling Congress-led UPA coalition at the state and central level through consensus.

He said the victory of the Congress was significant as it hardly had a seat in Parliament or in the state assembly for decades from those areas which went to bypoll.

Dr Singhvi said the Congress fought the last elections in Andhra Pradesh in pre-poll alliance with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, CPI(M) and the CPI. "However, we have gone all alone this time." Asked if Congress President Sonia Gandhi had formed the Committee decided at Saturday's CWC meeting to suggest ways and means to rejuvenate the party, he said all the names being mentioned by the television channels were speculative. ''No decision has so far been taken.'' Asked about the decision of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) to pull out its representative from the Left-UPA Coordination panel, he said he did not know why it had done so. "I don't know the reason. You please ask them if it is because of the problems within the Left coalition in West Bengal." He asserted that the UPA government had been ruling on the basis of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) right from the beginning.

UNI SN/SH PK HT1756

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