Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam Party to merge with Congress

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New Delhi, Feb 6(ANI): Telegu cine star and Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) chief Chiranjeevi on Sunday met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and announced that he will merge his party with the Congress to strengthen the relationship between the two parties in Andhra Pradesh.

Addressing the media outside Gandhi's residence here, Chiranjeevi said that the decision for the "best interests" of the people of Andhra Pradesh.

"We have decided to merge PRP with the Congress. The decision has been taken without any condition. There are no conditions at all," Chiranjeevi said.

Union Law and Justice Minister M. Veerappa Moily, who also serves as the All India Congress Committee General Secretary in-charge for Andhra Pradesh, said: "Chiranjeevi has merged his party with the Congress. He has now become a member of the Congress family. I am quite happy."

The meeting came in the wake of Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony's recent visit to Hyderabad.

Concerned over the erosion of its strength in Andhra Pradesh, the Congress leadership had rushed its senior leader Antony to Hyderabad on Monday to meet Chiranjeevi for cementing its relations with the film star's party "for mutual benefit".

During the nearly two-hour meeting with Chiranjeevi at his Jubilee Hills residence, Antony had extended an invitation on behalf of Sonia Gandhi to meet her "at the earliest" for forging a formal political alliance.

Though the two parties had friendly relations since the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha last year, there was no formal tie-up between the PRP and the Congress. (ANI)

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