Some State Ministers and Members of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh want to join the Bharatiya Janata Party, senior party leader M. Venkaiah Naidu claimed here on Wednesday.

Addressing a gathering at the party office after distributing sewing machines to the poor on the occasion of 89 birthday of former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, Mr. Naidu said many leaders wanted to join the party. People in the country were yearning for a new leadership that would carry forward the legacy of Mr. Vajpayee, who had focussed on development and good governance.

Hailing the leadership of Mr. Vajpayee, who brought international recognition to the country, he said the former Prime Minister accorded highest priority to development, be it highways connectivity, rural connectivity, port connectivity or air connectivity. He made the country stronger and checked inflation and price increase, reduced interest on crop loans from 16 per cent to seven per cent and created three new States without rancour among the people.

Call to youth

Lashing out at the Congress, he said in the recent Assembly elections, it had fared worse than its dismal performance in the polls held post-Emergency. Dalits, Girijans and Minorities had moved away from the Congress. Observing that people were concerned over degeneration of values and standards in politics, Mr. Naidu said politics has turned into business and called for rectifying the situation. He said people were looking towards new leadership and BJP prime ministerial candidate -- Narendra Modi -- was the only hope. He said the BJP would promote younger leadership and wanted more youth to join politics.