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  • Deccan Chronicle

Congress to press for SCS and Polavaram, says Rahul Gandhi

ANANTAPUR: Referring to the losses the Congress suffered in the Telugu states after bifurcation, party leader Rahul Gandhi said here on Wednesday, “What the party can do now is work hard for the implementation of the promises on special category status (SCS) and Polavaram in the AP Reorganisation Act.

"I am not delving into the past. We must have a clear plan for the future. We feel the commitment made by the Centre to the two states should be fulfilled,” he told mediapersons during the second day of the Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY) in Kurnool on Tuesday.

He also reiterated the Congress’ commitment to retain a single capital in Amaravati for Andhra Pradesh.

"We do not think the YSRC’s idea of having three capitals is a sensible move. We think Andhra Pradesh should have one capital, which should be Amravati. That is our position," he said, adding the party would like to defend the rights of farmers who gave away their lands for the capital.

Answering a question on the Congress presidential election, Rahul Gandhi said his position and responsibility would be decided by the newly elected party chief Mallikarjun Kharge. “I would follow the directions of the party president. Party president is the supreme authority for every party worker," he said.

He pointed out that it was only in the Congress that party workers had the freedom to elect the party president in a transparent and democratic manner. “This is unlike the BJP and the regional parties, which all elected their chiefs in a dictatorial way,” he said.

Reacting to a call by AICC presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor to conduct a re-poll in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi said the party's election commissioner Madhusudan Mistry had acted in a fair manner and was like T.N. Seshan, the former chief election commissioner known for his strict enforcement of rules. “If there are issues, bring them to his notice, he will get them solved,” Rahul Gandhi said.

On the question of a Congress alliance with the YSRC in 2024, he said this was not under his jurisdiction and all such matters would be tackled by the AICC president.

Stating that there was distress on the part of farmers and the weaker sections in AP, he observed that the three major political parties in the state were acting like corporate entities.

Rahul Gandhi stressed the need for governments to support entrepreneurs so as to enable them to provide more employment opportunities. "But, GST and demonetisation caused major setbacks and burdened even the small farmers. A multi-level GST system is seen only in India."

Demonetisation and GST destroyed the systems and India’s ability to create jobs. A handful of rich people, the rich who are close to the PM, are happy. “What is happening is, 'money transfer' from farmers to small businesses and finally to the top rich.”

With regard to the yatra in Andhra Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi said, “Our leaders were not sure about the success of the the Bharat Jodo Yatra in AP, but the response is tremendous. This will be the first step for strengthening the Congress in AP," Rahul Gandhi said.

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