Bus Yatra undertaken to renew confidence among party cadre: Chiru

It hurt him when four MLAs who won as his candidates in the district with highest percentage of votes in the State for Praja Rajyam (which later merged with the Congress) in 2009 elections switched to another party, but this development had also provided an opportunity to many young leaders who were keen on contesting in the elections, Union Minister of State and APCC publicity committee chairman K. Chiranjeevi said here on Saturday. What made them join the Telugu Desam, he wondered but he was not concerned and the Bus Yatra was undertaken to renew confidence among party workers to face the elections, which, he was sure, would be won by the Congress, Mr. Chiranjeevi said while addressing a meeting of party workers at the GVMC stadium.

Seven MLAs and two MPs who won as candidates of either Chiranjeevi or Sonia Gandhi in the district had left the party but their absence here was not felt due to the large number of party workers attending the meeting, APCC president N. Raghuveera Reddy said.

As many as 130 applications were received for party ticket for the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, which indicated that the party was strong here, he said. APCC manifesto committee chairman Anam Ramnarayana Reddy said since the residual AP would have a great future as a lot of educational institutions and other benefits would be provided.

Former president of APCC Botcha Satyanarayana, who joined the meeting as it was coming to an end, said only the Congress was capable of continuing the welfare schemes on a large scale.

Visakha South MLA Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao presided. Around 3,000 party workers were brought for the meeting and half of them left the venue after having a look at Mr. Chiranjeevi. Rajya Sabha Member T. Subbarami Reddy spoke.

Union Ministers Panabaka Lakshmi, J.D. Seelam and Killi Kruparani; former State Ministers P. Balaraju and C. Ramachandraiah; and former mayor Pulusu Janardhana Raowere present on the dais.