Hyderabad, March 6 IANS | 8 months ago

In a setback to the Congress in Seemandhra, former central minister Daggubati Purandeswari and her husband Daggubati Venkateshwara Rao Thursday decided to join the BJP.

The couple, who quit the Congress last month to protest against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, will meet BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Sushma Swaraj in Delhi Friday.

"I will convey to them my willingness to join the BJP," Purandeswari told reporters in Visakhapatnam.

She said she planned to contest for the Lok Sabha again from Visakhapatnam.

After meeting her supporters in her constituency, she alleged that the Congress had done injustice to Seemandhra by dividing the state in a unilateral manner.

Purandeswari, daughter of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder N.T. Rama Rao, is currently a member of the Lok Sabha from Visakhapatnam.

She said the central government did not take into consideration the demands of central ministers and MPs from Seemandhra.

"Their attitude showed that they don't care for the future of public
representatives of this region," she said.

She alleged that the behaviour of the Congress towards her was insulting.

She was apparently referring to the reported indications by the leadership that she would not be fielded again from Visakhapatnam. She was reportedly asked to look for another constituency.

The former minister claimed that the Congress has plans to have a tie up with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telangana and the YSR Congress party in Seemandhra.

Purandeswari joined the Congress before the 2004 election and was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bapatla. She served as a union minister of state for human resource from 2004 to 2009.

Purandeswari was again elected to the Lok Sabha again in 2009 from Visakhapatnam on Congress ticket and remained the union minister of state for human resource development.

In 2012, she was shifted to the commerce and industry ministry.

The 55-year-old sent her resignation to Prime Minster Manmohan Singh after the bill for the formation of a Telangana state was passed by parliament. She also quit the Congress.

Purandeswari's husband Venkateshwara Rao, a member of the Andhra Pradesh assembly, also resigned from the Congress.

(Posted on 06-03-2014)

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