Andhra CM welcomes Praja Rajyam-Congress merger

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Hyderabad, Feb.6 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Sunday welcomed the merger between Praja Rajyam Party and the Congress party.

The merger was formalised on Sunday afternoon after a 15-minute meeting between PRP leader and Telugu actor Chiranjeevi and Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence in New Delhi.

"We thank the party high command and Sonia Gandhiji for allowing the merger of the PRP with Congress. We also congratulate PRP president Chiranjeevi, their MLAs and the party for their decision to merge," a statement issued by the Chief Minister"""s office quoted Reddy as saying.

"We will work together for the welfare of the poorest of the poor and overall development of the state. The decision will strengthen the """hands""" of the Congress party in serving the nation in general and the state of Andhra Pradesh in particular," the release added.

On Sunday afternoon, Chiranjeevi said the decision to merge 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.

All Indian Congress Committee 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 A K Antony, who had met Chiranjeevi in Hyderabad recently and invited him for talks with Gandhi, was also present at Sunday"""""""s meeting.

Asked whether the move was to counter the threat posed by Congress rebel Y.S.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 he had no "selfish motives" in effecting the merger between the PRP and the Congress party.

"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 in Andhra Pradesh. (ANI)

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