MLAs of erstwhile Praja Rajyam make it clear that they will part ways with the Congress

A majority of MLAs of the erstwhile Praja Rajyam have made it clear to Union Minister K. Chiranjeevi that it was becoming increasingly difficult for them to continue in the Congress and told him plainly that they were receiving offers to join the TDP and YSR Congress.

At a luncheon meeting here on Friday with the legislators, Mr. Chiranjeevi reviewed the fast moving political developments in wake of Centre’s resolve to divide the State . The legislators reportedly told him that they were facing the people’s wrath following the Centre’s decision. The situation was not conducive to remain in the Congress, they said.

One MLA bluntly told Mr. Chiranjeevi that they had joined the Praja Rajyam for his sake. After the party’s merger with Congress, the situation has changed and it is hard to continue in the Congress more so after the decision on bifurcation. Tadepalligudem MLA Eli Venkata Madhusudana Rao made it clear that he will not contest on the Congress ticket. “I plan to join the TDP,” he said.

Endowments Minister C. Ramachandraiah summed up the feelings of his colleagues by saying that they were not keen on defecting to other parties but were forced to take harsh decisions as people were blaming the Congress for division.

Minister for Infrastructure Ganta Srinivasa Rao expressed displeasure that those in responsible position in the Congress were giving statements that some MLAs were planning to defect. The Congress leadership was also appointing in charges in some constituencies represented by PR MLAs.

Peddapuram MLA P. Gandhi Mohan said: “People have strong suspicion that Congress had done this as it was confident of getting the support of TRS and YSR Congress after general election.”. Kakinanda Rural MLA K. Kannababu said anger was evident when the people, who had prayed for the well being of AICC president Sonia Gandhi, were now abusing her.

Mr. Chiranjeevi counselled his colleagues not to take any hasty decision. He reportedly pointed out that even the TDP and the YSR Congress were not clear on their stand in favour of united AP. He said bifurcation was a painful decision and added that he too faced the wrath of the people.