Vijaya Shanthi, who is not on the best of terms with TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, today met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi after which the decision of her joining the party was announced.
AICC general secretary in-charge for Andhra Pradesh Digvijay Singh, who accompanied the MP, told reporters that Vijaya Shanthi, the Lok Sabha MP from Medak, Andhra Pradesh, had taken the "blessings" of Gandhi.
Her joining Congress came within a week of parliament passing the bill for creation of separate Telangana state, the main demand of TRS founder K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Rao and Vijaya Shanthi were the only members of the party in the outgoing Lok Sabha. "I am very happy to inform you that Vijaya Shanthi, the first actress to raise the issue of Telangana and a consistent fighter for it has decided to join Congress.
She has taken the blessings of Sonia Gandhi," Singh told reporters outside 10 Janpath, the residence of the Congress President. According to Singh, Vijaya Shanthi had said that her fight was for Telangana and after it is achieved, she would join Congress.
Shanthi also talked to reporters in Telugu after the meeting disapproving of the unwillingness of the TRS chief to merge his party with Congress. Shanthi has good rapport with the Congress President and her joining the party is being seen as Congress' attempt to build pressure for merger of TRS.
The merger plan appeared to have suffered a setback yesterday amid conflicting versions on the issue from both the parties. While Congress claimed the TRS chief has expressed readiness to merge his party with it, TRS said no such assurance has been given.