Chiranjeevi to meet Sonia Gandhi Sunday

Saturday, February 5, 2011

HYDERABAD - Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) chief K. Chiranjeevi will meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi Sunday to discuss proposals including the merger of his party with the Congress.

The actor-turned-politician will call on Sonia Gandhi Sunday morning, party sources said.

The meeting is taking place at the invitation of the Congress president. Senior Congress leader and Defence Minister A.K. Antony had visited Hyderabad and met Chiranjeevi last week to invite him for the talks.

Worried over the threat posed by former party MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy to its government in Andhra Pradesh, the Congress is trying to woo the PRP to either merge with it or join the government.

The PRP has 18 legislators in the 294-member assembly. With 156 members, Congress enjoys a slender majority.

But at least two dozen of its legislators are reportedly planning to switch loyalties to Jaganmohan Reddy, who quit the Congress in November last year and is planning to float a new party.

Chiranjeevi, who held consultations with party legislators and senior leaders during the last two days, will hear the proposals from Sonia Gandhi and will then respond, said a party leader.

A section of PRP leaders is opposed to the merger, but majority of the legislators back a tie-up with the ruling party.

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