Former Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao and two MLAs T. Vijay Kumar and Juttu Jagannaikulu on Sunday joined the YSR Congress in the presence of its president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy at a public meeting at Srikakulam municipal grounds.

In another development, Mines and Geology Minister Galla Aruna Kumari and Congress MLA of Puthalpattu P. Ravi shared the dais with Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu at a public meeting addressed by him at Bangarupalem town, 20 km from Chittoor.

It triggered speculation that both of them might join the TDP.

The twin developments were a big blow to the Congress as both Mr. Prasada Rao and Ms. Aruna Kumari were seasoned campaigners for the party in their respective districts.

Mr. Rao who resigned as Roads and Buildings Minister after the Central Bureau of Investigation made him an accused in the disproportionate assets case against Jagan, dropped indications recently that he might join the YSR Congress. But, Ms. Aruna Kumari sprang a surprise by showing up at Mr. Naidu’s meeting though her son Jayadev was an aspirant for the Lok Sabha ticket of TDP from Guntur.

Naidu unveils statue of former Congress MP

Interestingly, Mr. Naidu himself whipped up another surprise by unveiling the statue of a former Congress MP from Chittoor, N.P. Changalraya Naidu, where Ms. Aruna Kumari was present. The function was organised by the family members of Changalraya Naidu. It was stated that Ms. Aruna Kumari was not keen on retaining her Chandragiri Assembly seat if Mr. Jayadev contested from Guntur.

It was Ms. Aruna Kumari’s father P. Rajagopal Naidu who played a big role in Mr. Chandrababu Naidu getting a break in politics when he won from Chandragiri in 1978.

At the public meeting addressed by Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy in Srikakulam, Mr. Prasada Rao announced that he had faxed his resignation letter to All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi explaining the reasons for his decision.

Two MLAs join YSRC

The Visakhapatnam (North) MLA T. Vijay Kumar and Palasa MLA J. Jagannaikulu also joined YSR Congress on the occasion. Their exit from Congress was in air for sometime.

The YSR Congress issued a press release in Hyderabad stating that N.T. Rama Rao’s widow Lakshmi Parvathi also joined the party at the same meeting but it was not confirmed as she was said to be reluctant when Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy tried to offer her the khandwa.