PUDUCHERRY: Congress MLA and former Minister Malladi Krishna Rao from Yanam, along with his supporters, is contemplating to quit the Congress and join the ruling All India NR Congress (AINRC).
This was disclosed at a meeting held at his residence at Yanam on Wednesday.
The meeting attended by more than 500 supporters that included leaders belonging to various communities, his followers, former municipal and ward councillors and others office-bearers advised him to either join BJP, which is in power at the Centre, or the AINRC, which is ruling the Union Territory of Puducherry, as his remaining in Congress is no longer beneficial to the region.
The bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh has further affected Yanam region, they said, adding that most of them had felt that M K Rao should join AINRC. However, Malladi Krishna Rao has not expressed his opinion or decision. “I have pacified them and sought time to take a decision,” he said.
The need for looking for alternatives stems from the fact that the region has seen little development since the AINRC government came to power three-and-a-half years back. Not only the State developmental schemes have eluded, but even the Centrally sponsored schemes, which were sanctioned by the Union government with M K Rao’s efforts during his tenure as Minister in the previous Congress government, have been futile, as the Territorial government has still not provided its share of funds. The `22-crore drinking water supply project is one example, it was said.
For the MLA, who has been elected from the constituency since 1996 continuously and that too by landside victories, has been keeping the votebank in his strong hold. His strategy was securing funds from the Central government and Puducherry government for implementation of schemes and taking care of the welfare of the people and development of the region through it. This has given him the advantage to play his political cards. There has never been any dependence on Congress for electoral victory. In fact, he won the first election as an independent and thereafter joined Congress , particularly with the objective of becoming a Minister to achieve more for the Territory. Since he is not dependent on any party name or symbol for an electoral victory, his priority is to provide the people of the territory with the benefits they desire and keep them satisfied. In this backdrop, it is likely that Malladi Krishna Rao may heed to their advice.
On the other hand any political party would like to have him in its fold, particularly with the Assembly elections in the UT due in 2016, as it would mean a sure seat (Yanam) for the party as no major challengers have emerged so far. Some talks have been on between him and the Chief Minister N Rangasamy ever since the Congress lost the Lok Sabha election.
“I have not taken any clear- cut decision on the matter, which I will do after reaching Puducherry,” said Malladi Krishna Rao, who was on his way to Puducherry. There are various equations being worked out by AINRC to facilitate M K Rao’s joining the party, even as the Congress is trying to retain him, sources said.
Some post would be offered to him by AINRC which could be Rajya Sabha seat and the Yanam seat for his wife. Otherwise the vacant Ministerial berth , sources in the AINRC said.