Chiranjeevi met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi yesterday for over 50 minutes and later told the press that in the best interests of Andhra Pradesh, his Praja Rajyam Party is merging with Congress. Veerappa Moily, and A.K. Antony, were present during Chiranjeevi’s meeting with Sonia.
There had been hectic back channel consultations between PRP and the Congress and the deal of merger came to a final stage after defence minister AK Antony flew down to Hyderabad last week to have consultations with Chiranjeevi.
Chiranjeevi’s PRP, which was launched in August, 2008, has 18 MLAs in the 294-member Andhra Pradesh Assembly and his decision to merge with Congress is expected to rope in the considerable Kapu community vote bank.
The PRP-Congress merger also effectively counters the threat of around 20 MLAs belonging to former Kadapa MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s camp upsetting the government.