Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu on Friday said the Praja Rajyam party launched by Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi was "daydreaming" by claiming that it was the only political alternative to the ruling Congress party in Andhra Pradesh.
"They are daydreaming by sitting in the four walls of their office," the former chief minister said in his first remarks criticising the party launched by the actor on Aug 26.
Praja Rajyam spokesperson said on Thursday his party is "the only alternative to Congress party". "People are looking for a change which we alone are capable of providing," said Parakala Prabhakar.
"They (Praja Rajyam) are saying that they will win Godavari districts and thus admitting that they will not win at any other place in the state. People will not trust them," said Naidu, whose party will be trying to return to power in next year's elections to the state Assembly.
On the remarks by Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy that the Congress would win all except two seats in East and West Godavari districts, Prabhakar said that the Praja Rajyam candidates would romp home with a majority of 20,000 votes in every seat in the two districts.
Chiranjeevi, who belongs to Kapu community, comes from West Godavari district. As the two districts have a sizeable population of Kapu voters, the region is being seen as a likely stronghold of the party.
The ruling Congress party said people would decide whether there was any need for an alternative. "It is not proper for a party formed only a few days ago to claim to be an alternative," said Revenue Minister D. Prasad Rao.
Meanwhile, more leaders quit the TDP to join the Praja Rajyam party. Satyanand Rao, a former legislator from East Godavari district, resigned from the TDP and joined Chiranjeevi's party. A few members of district and village-level bodies also joined the new party with him.
Senior TDP leader and former state minister T. Sitaram on Thursday quit the party and joined Chiranjeevi's camp.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party has expressed keen interest in joining hands with the Praja Rajyam.
Samajwadi Party (SP) general secretary Amar Singh will be holding talks with Chiranjeevi in Hyderabad Sunday on the issue of the two parties working together. Two SP leaders and actors Jayaprada and Jaya Bachchan are also likely to participate in the talks.
The Samajwadi Party has negligible presence in Andhra Pradesh and it won only one assembly seat in 2004, that too on account of the personal clout of its candidate D.K. Aruna. Even she quit the party and joined the Congress party recently.
The Praja Rajyam on Thursday made it clear that it was not interested in alliance or tie-up with any other party and wants to go it alone in the next elections.