The ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh received a jolt on Sunday with an MLA and an MP joining ranks with Jaganmohan Reddy, who has just severed all connections with the party.
MLA Perni Nani, who represents Machilipatnam in Krishna district, announced on Sunday he would team up with Jaganmohan.
Congress sources said two other MLAs from the district, Malladi Vishnu and Jogi Ramesh, might follow suit.
Rattled by the situation, chief minister Kiran Reddy called MP L.Rajgopal and animal husbandry minister K Parthasarathy (both from Krishna district) to talk to the MLAs and sort out the issue.
To make things worse for the Congress, Anakapally MP Sabbam Hari announced support for Jaganmohan, who has resigned from the Lok Sabha also. Hari said he would participate in Jaganmohan’s Visakhpatnam tour, starting on January 2.
The idea of the tour is to console the families of those who died of shock or committed suicide after Jaganmohan’s father, YS Rajasekhar Reddy (YSR), died as chief minister in September 2009.
The support of Nani and Hari has come barely a week after a revolt by six ministers who were unhappy with their portfolios.
Jaganmohan, who has been drawing large crowds in Krishna district, declared on Saturday the days of the Congress government in the state were numbered.
An alarmed Congress activist M Ramesh said: “The party leadership has a crisis on hand. If it does not act, half the Krishna district Congress may walk into Jaganmohan’s party (not yet born).”
Some other prominent leaders in the district such as former zilla parishad chairman Nageshwara Rao and former Vijayawada mayor T Shakuntala have announced they will join Jaganmohan’s new party.
The Congress has 155 MLAs in the assembly of 292 members, just nine above the halfway mark.