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Monday, February 7, 2011

Chiranjeevi merges his Praja Rajyam Party with Congress

Nearly 30 months after launching his party with much fanfare, Praja Rajyam chief Chiranjeevi on Sunday announced its merger with Congress, which is trying to counter the possible threat posed by YS Jaganmohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh.

Emerging after a 15-minute meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Chiranjeevi said the decision was taken keeping in mind the "best interests" of the people of Andhra Pradesh as both Congress and PRP fight for social justice.

"We have decided to merge PRP with the Congress. The decision has been taken without any condition. There are no conditions at all," Chiranjeevi told reporters outside Gandhi's residence.

AICC general secretary in-charge for Andhra Pradesh M Veerappa Moily said, "Chiranjeevi has merged his party with the Congress. He has now become a member of the Congress family. I am quite happy."

Defence Minister AK Antony, who had met Chiranjeevi in Hyderabad recently and invited him for talks with Gandhi, was also present in the meeting.

Asked whether the move was to counter the threat posed by Jaganmohan, Moily said "We are not against anybody. The move is just to strengthen the Congress. We are not against any personality."

Chiranjeevi insisted that the merger has been agreed upon without any pre-conditions and that he has no "selfish motives".

"I do not expect anything at all. Not at all. I will be what I am today," he said in response to queries on whether he would join the N Kiran Kumar Reddy cabinet.

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