PRP formally unites with Congress

Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar made a formal announcement in the House on Monday accepting the merger of Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) with the Congress.

Hyderabad: With Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar making a formal announcement in the House Monday accepting the merger of Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) with the Congress, the chapter of the Chiranjeevi-led party
has come to an end in the political history of the state.

"Under Para 4 of Schedule X of the Constitution, all
17 members of PRP will be recognised as Congress MLAs with
immediate effect," the Speaker announced to the House.

Telugu Megastar Chiranjeevi founded the PRP on August 26,
2008 at temple-town Tirupati with the promise of ushering in a
change on the plank of social justice.

The party could not ride to power despite positioning
itself as an alternative to Congress and Telugu Desam Party
but won only 18 seats with 17 per cent vote share in the 2009
elections. One of the MLAs subsequently switched over to the
YSR Congress of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.

It drew a blank in the Lok Sabha polls the same year.

PRP was plagued by a leadership crisis since its start as
majority of the leaders who joined it from other parties quit,
unable to adjust to the "filmy style" of functioning of
Chiranjeevi and his brother-in-law Allu Aravind.

In February 2011, the Congress came with the offer of a
merger with PRP and Chiranjeevi lost no time in accepting it.

In June last year, the Election Commission of India
approved the merger of PRP with Congress and the formalities
between the two parties were completed in August.

Two legislators of PRP were inducted into the state
Cabinet in January as part of merger deal.

However, the PRP continued to remain a separate group in
the Assembly as some "technical" procedures were not

Late last month, the Congress Legislature Party finally
approved the merger and communicated its decision to the

On Thursday, leaders of both parties handed over letters
to the Speaker seeking to accept the merger. Accordingly, the
Speaker made the formal announcement this morning.
Now, as per the promise made by the Congress during the
merger, Chiranjeevi has to be nominated to Rajya Sabha in the
biennial elections on March 30. If that doesn`t happen by any
chance, Chiranjeevi will become a "backbencher" in the
Assembly as he is a first-time MLA (from Tirupati).