Chiranjeevi leaves for Delhi to meet Sonia

HYDERABAD: Praja Rajyam Party chief K Chiranjeevi left for New Delhi on Tuesday at the invitation of the Congress high command amidst speculation that he will play a “major role” in the party from now on.

He will be meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other senior party leaders. On the top of his agenda is the date for the formal merger of the PRP with the Congress. He is also likely to discuss the issue of Cabinet expansion and the induction of his MLAs besides his own future in the grand old party.

The Congress, which is expecting reverses in the Kadapa bypolls, appears keen on setting its house in order and lay the foundation for a “better performance” in the Assembly elections due in 2014. For this purpose, it is examining several options, including providing a berth to Chiranjeevi in the Congress Working Committee. But in utilising his services, it doesn’t want to antagonise party seniors in the State.

The Congress, sources said, wants to use the Cabinet expansion to dangle a few carrots before ministers, whose heart still beats for the late YSR’s son YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, to buy peace. There are about halfa- dozen such ministers.

And, as Jagan is likely to secure a majority in the bypolls and emerge as a force to reckon with, the ministers might be tempted to get closer to him. The Congress believes a reshuffle of portfolios might do the trick.(ENS)

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