Buoyed by the success in the cooperative polls, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Monday gave a call to the cadre to ignore the defections of some Congress MLAs and declared that the party was confident of roping in new blood to revive its fortunes.

“It is an illusion if leaders feel that the party is surviving because of their leadership. Cadres are the real strength for the party, even if the leaders desert it, there is no threat,” he said addressing a gathering of newly elected PACS chiefs from Prakasam district who met him under the leadership of Municipal Administration Minister M. Maheedhar Reddy.

Referring to the defection of Addanki MLA Gottipati Ravi Kumar to the YSR Congress, the Chief Minister wondered what prompted the young legislator to shift loyalties when the rival party had already announced its candidate for the seat. He assured the Congress leaders that all the promises he had made during his recent tour of the constituency as part of ‘Indiramma Baata’ would be fulfilled. Mr. Maheedhar Reddy said defections did not impact party’s fortune as the results of the cooperative polls proved that it was the cadre that stood behind the Congress.

Former MLA Raghava Rao said it was unfortunate that the sitting legislator had decided to switch sides without even consulting the cadres and local leaders. Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal said that some leaders ‘sold’ the party for personal gains while the cadres believed and stayed with it.