Congress to go alone in Andhra Pradesh Assembly polls

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New Delhi, Sep 29 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today said the Congress would contest all 294 Assembly seats in the state alone in the 2009 elections, ruling out scope for any local understanding.

Talking to newspersons after a meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Dr Reddy said the partymen and leaders were confident of the party doing well in each of the constituencies and were not ready to give up the fight. ''Such being the case, we will contest on our own,'' he said.

The party had contested jointly with Telangana Rashtra Samiti, headed by K Chandrasekhara Rao, which had quit from the Government and the UPA to join hands with the United National Progressive Alliance led by Communist parties and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.

Dr Reddy said the Congress was not against creation of Telangana and wanted the formation process through Second States Reorganisation Commission. ''The Congress will not react on the issue as Ms Gandhi, as the head of the UPA, was seized of the matter. It is for the parties, who are opposed to creation of Telangana, who should reconcile,'' he said indirectly referring to the TDP, which is strongly opposed, carving out a state from AP.

The CM also avoided answering on the possibility of Lok Sabha polls advanced to November in the wake of signing of Indo-US nuclear deal.

He added he had discussed the issue of loan waiver with Ms Gandhi for handloom weavers since the central waiver helped only those who had availed cooperative loans. The Chief Minister denied any reports of the weavers commiting suicides in the state and asserted that the deaths reported so far were not because of unemployment. ''The Government was purchasing every piece of cloth produced to ensure that the weavers got employment,'' he asserted.

He had dispatched a team of ministers to Sirisilla where reports of weaver suicides appeared and the district administration had been asked to conduct door-to-door surveys of individual families if they had problems in getting job orders.

Answering questions regarding cine actor turned politician Chiranjeevi attributing the deaths due to unemployment, he said, ''He is new to politics and was speaking without realising facts.'' Asked whom he regarded as political rival -- TDP or Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam -- Dr Reddy said the Congress was already reigning and the people will surely give their decision in the elections regarding who will be on number two and three positions. ''Depending on their mandate, we will know who our political rivals are,'' he remarked.

The Chief Minister, earlier in the day, also called on Minister of State for Environment Namo Narayan Meena to seek clearance of irrigation projects.

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