The waves from the so-called ‘Political Tsunami’ receded back into the oceans less than three years after it hit Andhra Pradesh on Sunday after Praja Rajyam Party president K Chiranjeevi announced that he was merging his party with the Congress.
Speaking to media persons after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Mr Chiranjeevi said that his party will merge with the ruling party without any pre-conditions.
For the numerous fans of the actor-turned-politician, who had launched his party at Tirupati on August 26, 2008, the total capitulation may be shocking, but not unexpected.
Mr Chiranjeevi told media persons outside 10, Janpath that he would merge his party in the Congress as Sonia assured to look into his party’s main goal of providing social justice.
Stating that he has not put any pre-conditions for merger, the actor-turned-politician said the merger would enable both parties to provide social justice to the people more efficiently.
“Considering the interests of the state, the merger of PRP with Congress will strengthen both parties and we can achieve social justice by working together,” he pointed out.
“The interests of the State will always be superior than our personal interests,” he added.
The PRP chief further disclosed that his party MLAs had authorized him to merge the party ‘without opposition’.
Mr Chiranjeevi also revealed that he had asked Ms Sonia Gandhi to push for the National project status for Polavaram, Chevella-Pranahita projects, reservation for women in local bodies and better package for hapless farmers in the state.
He revealed that Ms Sonia Gandhi responded favourably to all his requests assured him that she would act on them at her personal level.
The Tirupati MLA also said that he had urged Ms Sonia Gandhi to include in Kapu community in the list of Backward Classes.
Reacting to questions on whether the PRP Legislators would join the state Cabinet after the merger, he said that the issue was not discussed during today’s meeting.
Expressing happiness over the merger, Incharge of AP Congress Affairs M Veerappa Moily stated that the PRP merger will come into effect from Sunday itself.
“Mr Chiranjeevi is member of the Congress from now onwards,” Mr Moily stated and added the merger will strengthen both parties in the state. He also described the merger as a ‘historic’ event in Andhra Pradesh politics.
The Congress In-Charge for Andhra Pradesh Affairs described the actor-turned-politician as a ‘huge asset’ to the party in the state.
According to sources, Mr Chiranjeevi will convene a massive meeting in Tirupati and where he will formally merge the party in Congress soon.
Signals that the PRP would at best opt for a merger or at least join the ruling government had emerged ever since Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy took Oath.
The now-defunct PRP president was strongly tipped to be named the Deputy Chief Minister with about four Legislators of his party joining the Cabinet. Though that was not to be, the political observers persevered in their belief that sooner than later the PRP would join the government.
Congress Working Committee member AK Antony, senior PRP leader C Ramachandraiah were also present at the meeting at 10, Janpath.