TDP MLA and district party president Devineni Umamaheswara Rao has come down heavily on the Praja Rajyam Party, saying its president K. Chiranjeevi has bartered away self-respect of the Telugu people in the streets of Delhi by announcing the merger of his party with the Congress that was steeped in corruption.

Mr. Rao said at a press conference on Monday that Mr. Chiranjeevi owed an explanation to all those who threw their weight behind him in the hope of waging a struggle against the Congress. “At the time of elections, Praja Rajyam divided the opposition vote and helped the Congress. Now there is a merger. This clearly shows the lack of commitment on the part of Chiranjeevi,” he said.

Mr. Rao asserted it was now clear that only the Telugu Desam Party continued to live up to its founder president NTR's promise of protecting and nurturing the Telugu pride without mortgaging their interests in front of Delhi leaders. Having failed to break the record of coming to power in a lesser time than NTR, Mr. Chiranjeevi seemed to have lost all moral strength to keep together his partymen because of lack of clear policies. Recalling how Praja Rajyam leaders spoke eloquently of their plans to fight against the corruption of the Congress under the YSR regime, Mr. Rao asked whether Mr. Chiranjeevi could convincingly explain his decision to join the Cabinet in which there were many ministers having unquestioned loyalty to the Rajasekhara Reddy family.

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