Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh: In a setback to the beleaguered Congress in Andhra Pradesh, former state minister and senior leader Anam Ramanarayana Reddy today joined the ruling Telegu Desam Party (TDP) along with his brother and former legislator Anam Vivekananda Reddy.
TDP Chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu welcomed the brothers into the party fold.
Ramanarayana Reddy was a senior minister during the Congress rule in Andhra Pradesh from 2004-2014. He was the finance minister in the Cabinet of N Kiran Kumar Reddy ahead of the state bifurcation in 2014.
Ramanarayana Reddy and Vivekananda Reddy belong to the influential Anam family in Nellore district.
Their exit is seen as a major setback to Congress in Andhra Pradesh, where it does not even have representation in the Legislative Assembly.
Ramanarayana Reddy told reporters that their pleas as ministers to the Congress high command against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh fell on deaf ears and party leadership showed no signs of regret for its decision during the last 15 months.
The Reddy brothers, who have been staying aloof from active politics since last year's elections, said they chose to join the TDP in the interest of the state's development.
Mr Naidu is the only leader with a vision who can steer on Andhra Pradesh in times of ongoing crisis where it does not even have its own capital city and adequate revenues, Vivekananda Reddy said.