Spree of defections in Andhra

Andhra Pradesh
Former Union Minister of State Killi Kruparani

Visakhapatnam: Andhra Pradesh is witnessing several top political leaders changing political parties with the general elections just a couple of months away.

As of now, the ruling Telugu Desam Party seems to be on the losing side with Anakapalle MP Muttamsetti (Avanti) Srinivasa Rao resigning from the TDP as well as the Lok Sabha to join the YSR Congress Party last week. He also indicated that more from the TDP including some MLAs and MPs would follow suit and he is likely to be proved right before the poll process begins.

Though some TDP leaders whose names figured in the list initially denied any such move, even the TDP circles admit there is likely to be migration of sorts to the YSRCP from the ruling party.

They cite the instance of Amalapuram MP Ravindrababu who was expected to quit along with Avanti. But Ravindrababu after denying any such plan initially, shifted to YSRCP after a couple of days. Now the focus is on Elamanchili MLA from TDP Panchakarla Ramesh Babu who is also TDP rural Visakhapatnam president. He also vehemently says he would stay back in the ruling party but he may take a final call not before long, it is said.

The Congress is also losing ground. The first to leave was former Union Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo of Kurupam who lost in the last elections at Araku (ST) constituency. He will join the TDP on February 24.

The latest in the list is former Union Minister of State Killi Kruparani from Srikakulam who quit the Congress on Tuesday and will join the YSRCP on February 28.

Rumors are also ripe that the TDP strongman and former Union Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju of Vizianagaram may also leave the party. He did not attend the foundation-stone laying ceremony for the Bhogapuram international airport in his home town last week and also did not attend to important politburo meeting a couple of days ago.

It is believed that Raju was upset that the party leadership is preparing ground to admit Kishore Chandra Deo who is also from his native Vizianagaram district without informing him. This perhaps prompted Deo to address media conference on Monday in the company of Raju at the latter’s residence in Vizianagaram to announce his joining the TDP. But Raju is not amused and is still contemplating on quitting the party where he is now being sidelined, sources close to him say.