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Congress has strong roots in A.P., they only need to be watered, says party nominee for Vijayawada LS seat

INDCongress has strong roots in A.P., they only need to be watered, says party nominee for Vijayawada LS seat

Congress candidate for the Vijayawada Lok Sabha constituency Valluru Bhargava, speaking to The Hindu in Vijayawada.
| Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

When the name of Valluru Bhargav was announced as the Congress candidate for the Vijayawada Lok Sabha seat against his political opponents, who are heavyweights like Kesineni Srinivas (Nani) from the YSR Congress Party and his brother Kesineni Shivnath (Chinni), the NDA alliance candidate, people were curious to know more about this 36-year-old political novice. Interestingly, the Kesinenis are his paternal uncles.

“It was a knee-jerk decision. I have been closely watching the political developments in the country for the last few years and the complex interplay of politics and communalism under the BJP rule at the Centre disturbs me no end,” says Mr. Bhargav, in an interview with The Hindu.

He says recognising the need for a robust commitment to secularism to steer the country away from divisive politics and towards a more inclusive future, he decided to get his hands dirty and contribute his mite in clearing the mess. “We need more people with commitment as the challenge is a serious one. The BJP is trying to establish a psychological dominance over the people of this country, aiming to imprint its ideology across all social segments,” says the grandson of Valluru Poornachandra Rao, an ardent Congress leader in 1950-60s in this region.

“The Congress has strong roots in Andhra Pradesh. You only have to water them,” he says, reminding that the party has won the Vijayawada Lok Sabha seat 11 times, against merely five times by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Referring to the dismal financial condition of the State, he says Andhra Pradesh immediately needs to be put on the ‘ventilator’ of Special Category Status (SCS) to ensure its survival. “What stopped the YSR Congress government to complete the Polavaram project in the last five years, Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy should explain this to the people” he demands.

He says the BJP at no point intended to help the State construct its new capital. “When the issue of the proposed shifting of the capital by the Chief Minister was raised at the Central level, the BJP merely said it was an issue which was to be decided by the States when it had the choice of making a categorial announcement that Amaravati is the capital of Andhra Pradesh.”

“We hope to improve our vote share in this election. But given a chance, I would want to help the authorities implement skill development programmes on a massive scale to assuage the financial woes of the youth here,” he says.

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