Putting days of speculations to rest, TDP senior leader and Chirala MLA Karanam Balaram has finally decided to join the YSR Congress Party.
On Thursday, Balaram along with other TDP leaders left to Tadepalligudem to meet YSRCP president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Speaking to media, the senior TDP leader said it was not an overnight decision but a well-thought one to quit the party in order to serve the people of Chirala.
Karanam Balaram was miffed over TDP president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s decision to admit into the party fold his arch rival YSR Congress MLA from Addanki Gottipati Ravikumar. As a matter of fact, Karnam Balaram’s followers and Ravi Kumar traded blows during a meeting in Ongole. Naidu was in the know of the bitter rivalry between Balaram and Ravikumar but miserably failed to pacify both the warring groups in Prakasam. The rivalry reached to such a level that it adversely impacted the party not only in Addanki and Chirala but also in Giddalur and Kandukur constituencies.
Balaram started his political career with the Congress Party when Indira Gandhi fielded him from Addanki in the 1978 elections after he had saved her from an attack in Ongole. .
Balaram joins the list of deflections from TDP to YSRCP ahead of civic body elections. Recently, former minister and two-time MLA Dokka Manikya Varaprasad Rao resigned from the primary membership of the TDP and joined the YSRCP in the presence of its president and Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy at his camp office.
Dokka’s exit was followed by TDP leader and Kadapa’s strongman Satish Reddy, who challenged the supremacy of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy in Pulivendula, quit the party expressing his displeasure over N Chandrababu Naidu’s leadership. In Prakasam, former MLA Kadiri Babu Rao quit the TDP and met Jagan Mohan Reddy to join his party. Kadiri Babu Rao, a close associate of Nandamuri Balakrishna and a Kapu strongman in Prakasam, was upset with the TDP high command for allotting the Kanigiri ticket he won in 2014 elections to former Congress leader Ugra Narasimha Reddy and shifted him to Darshi in 2019 elections.