Former Union Minister for Textiles Kavuri Sambhasiva Rao joined the BJP in the presence of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi after severing his five-decade-long association with the Congress.

Mr. Modi formally admitted him into the party by draping a saffron ‘kanduva’ around his shoulders.

Native of Machilipatnam in Krishna district, Mr. Rao represented Eluru in the Lok Sabha for two consecutive terms. He met the BJP president Rajnath Singh sometime ago in Delhi and secured the latter’s clearance for his admission.

Mr. Sambhasiva Rao, who became the voice of the Samaikyandhra movement, faced people’s wrath after the State division. Consequently, he decided to quit the Congress.