Senior MPs expected to join BJP and TDP respectively. Rayapati Sambasiva Rao on Saturday said he would join the TDP on March 31. Speculations were rife right from the morning in his constituency about Mr. Kavuri joining the BJP. Earlier, there was a strong talk that the Union Minister could join the TDP. AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi tried to reach out to him, advising him against deserting the Congress.

More trouble is in store for Congress with two of its senior MPs all set to sever ties with the party. While Eluru MP Kavuri Sambasiva Rao is likely to jump over to the Bharatiya Janata Party, his Guntur counterpart Rayapati Sambasiva Rao is joining the Telugu Desam on March 31.

Giving credence to rumours that he may sail with the BJP, Mr. Kavuri reportedly met BJP national president Rajnath Singh in Delhi on Saturday.

Efforts to reach Mr. Kavuri, however, proved futile as neither he nor his aides could confirm his purported meeting with Mr. Singh. Speculations were rife right from the morning in his constituency about Mr. Kavuri joining the BJP. Earlier, there was a strong talk that the Union Minister could join the TDP. AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi tried to reach out to him, advising him against deserting the Congress.

Meanwhile, clearing the air, expelled Congress MP Mr. Rayapati Sambasiva Rao on Saturday said he would join the TDP on March 31. Talking to media persons in Tirumala, Mr. Rayapati said that the people of the State were looking forward to a strong and honest administrator like Chandrababu Naidu to govern the State. “I have decided to join the TDP as I find Mr. Naidu to be an able leader,” he said.

In a related development, former Minister and Mr. Rayapati’s close aide Dokka Manikya Varaprasad also hinted at switching over to the TDP. Mr. Varaprasad told media persons in Hyderabad that it was unfortunate that the Congress high command did not bother to stop Mr. Rayapati from leaving the party. “I am under tremendous pressure to take a decision about my political future soon,” he said.

Mr. Varaprasad said he would take a call in two days whether to follow his mentor on joining the TDP.