Free Press Journal

Congress MLA, poll candidate joins BJP in Seemandhra



Vijayawada (AP): Congress MLA from Vijayawada West assembly seat in Andhra Pradesh and party candidate, Velampalli Srinivasa Rao today joined the BJP here.

“I wish to develop my assembly constituency and I joined the BJP with only that aim,” Srinivas Rao told PTI.

He said that the entire nation was looking towards Narendra Modi, expecting that he would solve all national issues, especially economic issues.

Citizens found his name, from newspapers and news broadcast on various television news channels, in the Congress list for the Seemandhra region this morning.

However, by 12 noon, television news channels reported that Srinivasa Rao was admitted into the BJP by its city president, by promising him the paty’s ticket for the Vijayawada West assembly constituency which he represents at present.

Srinivasa Rao, who hails from the business community also said that many of his friends and followers exerted pressure on him to join the BJP instead of continuing in the Congress.

Sources said that his community alone contributes around 40,000 votes in his constituency, along with another 7,000 North Indian voters.

He plans to depend on votes from his community as well as the Marwadi community and the Modi wave, sources said.

Originally, Srinivasa Rao was elected on a ticket of the Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) led by Chiranjeevi in the 2009 general election.

After Chiranjeevi and his PRP merged with the Congress, Rao who had also followed suit, was seen with Congress leaders until late last night. He was also reportedly in touch with the Congress party high command.

Reacting to Rao’s entry into BJP and the promise made by the party high command for a ticket, local BJP cadres have expressed their unhappiness.

At the same time, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders were shocked at his entry into the BJP, especially since the TDP high command had allocated the Vijaywada West seat to its ally under the alliance quota.

For the last ten years, TDP’s minority leader Nagul Meera had been nurturing the constituency. The minorities who have stood behind the TDP so far, expressed their dissent and staged protests in the city today.

Another TDP leader Kesineni Srinivas who expected the Vijayawada Lok Sabha constituency ticket also expressed his anger over allocation of tickets to Koneru Satyanarayana. Kesineni’s followers also staged protests in the city.