Antony meets Chiranjeevi?

Tollywood Mega star and Praja Rajyam Party leader Chiranjeevi may be part of the Kiran Kumar Reddy government soon.

An indication to this effect has emerged following talks held between Defence Minister and AICC representative A.K. Antony and Mr Chiranjeevi at the latter’s residence on Monday.

Pradesh Congress Committee president D. Srinivas and senior PRP leaders were also present at the meeting.

Mr Antony, who has been deputed by the Congress High Command, had reached the city by a special flight on Monday, specifically to meet and discuss the political situation with the PRP chief. The Congress’s overtures towards the PRP have not surprised political watchers, since both the parties have been moving together for quite some time now.

Earlier, Mr Chiranjeevi had also met the Congress High Command in New Delhi, leading to speculations that he would be sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister at the time when Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy had taken oath.

The PRP joining the ruling Congress is seen as check to Kadapa rebel leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, who has been time and again threatening to pull down the state government.

In the wake of Mr Jaganmohan Reddy’s threat factor, the Congress obviously took a decision to enlist the support of Mr Chiranjeevi whose party has 18 MLAs (of course, two or three are said to be sailing with Mr Jaganmohan Reddy).

The PRP leader, had also met the state Governor earlier to express his support to the Kiran Kumar Reddy government in the event of a test of strength on the Floor of the House.

He had then stated that he was in no mood to see the government pulled down at any rate and avoid a burden on the people which could be incurred by midterm elections.

Though what transpired at the meeting between Mr Antony and Mr Chiranjeevi was not revealed, PRP leader C. Ramachandraiah, after the meeting today, gave an idea that Mr Antony had invited his party leaders for talks at the High Command level.

The Antony-PRP meeting assumes significance in view of certain developments taking place in the state.

The sources did say that the discussions centred mainly on the PRP prospects in case it chose to join the government.

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