Chiru will take Congress membership on Aug 20

Actor-turned-politician K. Chiranjeevi, who has merged his Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) with the Congress, will take the membership of the ruling party Aug 20.

He told reporters here Saturday that he would formally take the membership of the Congress in New Delhi Aug 20, the birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will give him the membership.

The formality of PRP’s merger with the Congress would be completed Aug 22, the 56th birthday of Chiranjeevi.

All senior leaders of the PRP and the legislators would take Congress membership at a function to be held on that day at the state Congress headquarters Gandhi Bhavan here.

The PRP, which has 18 members in the 294-seat Andhra Pradesh assembly, had announced its merger with the Congress in February.

Chiranjeevi, who acted in 149 films in a career spanning over three decades, had announced his entry into politics on his birthday in 2008. Four days later, he launched the PRP on the slogan of social justice amid much fanfare at Tirupati.

The superstar, who gave many blockbuster films and was seen as the future chief minister by millions of fans, had promised to provide an alternative to both the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

However, his party bagged only 18 seats in the assembly and drew a blank in the Lok Sabha elections in 2009.

The only saving grace for the PRP was 16.12 percent votes polled by it, which badly hit the prospects of the TDP and helped the Congress retain power.

Following PRP’s poll debacle, many leaders deserted Chiranjeevi and since then he was under pressure from legislators to merge the party with the Congress.(IANS)

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