Senior Congress leader in Andhra quits party

March 22nd, 2009 - 11:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, March 22 (IANS) Veteran Congress leader and eight-time legislator Penmatsa Sambasiva Raju Sunday quit the party to protest the denial to him of the Lok Sabha ticket.
The senior-most party leader in north coastal Andhra resigned as the president of Vizianagaram district unit of the ruling Congress.

His resignation came a day after the Congress party announced the list of its candidates for the next month’s elections to the state assembly and the Lok Sabha.

Sambasiva Raju, 80, wanted to contest from the Vizianagaram Lok Sabha constituency but the Congress retained sitting MP Botsa Jhansi, wife of state minister Botsa Satyanarayana, for the seat.

The Congress has fielded Sambasiva Raju’s son P. Suryanarayana Raju from Nellimerla assembly constituency.

Sambasiva Raju is likely to join the Praja Rajyam Party of actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi and contest for the Lok Sabha from Vizianagaram.

Meanwhile, the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Sunday received yet another jolt as former minister and senior leader Muthyam Reddy quit the party and decided to join the ruling Congress.

Muthyam Reddy’s move followed the decision of the TDP to leave Dommata assembly constituency in Medak district for its ally Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS).

He had earlier represented the constituency but lost to TRS candidate by a narrow margin in the 2004 elections.

A key TDP leader and former minister, K. Subbarayudu Saturday joined the Praja Rajyam Party.

Last week, TDP vice-president G. Sukhender Reddy joined the Congress, which rewarded him with a Lok Sabha ticket.

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