Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Ministers Ganta Srinivasa Rao, T G Venkatesh and Erasu Pratap Reddy held talks with Telugu Desam president Chandrababu Naidu today apparently to formalise their entry into the main Opposition party.
Along with the Congress Ministers, four ruling party MLAs from Visakhapatnam district also met Mr Naidu at his residence in Hyderabad this evening, TDP sources said.
Given their proximity to caretaker Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, it was widely expected that Mr Ganta, Mr Erasu and Mr Venkatesh would join the new political party to be launched by the former.
However, the trio chose to work under the leadership of Mr Naidu.
Earlier in the day, former Minister and sitting Congress MLA Adala Prabhakar Reddy also held talks with Mr Naidu over his return to the TDP.
Mr Ganta and the four MLAs - M Srinivas (Avanthi Srinivas), Venkata Ramaiah, Ramesh Babu and Ramana Murthy Raju (Kanna Babu) - will formally join TDP at the "Praja Garjana" rally to be held in Visakhapatnam on March 8, they said.
Mr Ganta, Mr Srinivas and Venkata Ramaiah were elected to the Assembly in 2009 as the erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) candidates. They have been sailing with the Congress since the actor-politician Chiranjeevi-led party's merger in 2012.
Mr Adala and another MLA Sridhara Krishna Reddy will return to the TDP at a public rally to be held in their native Nellore district on March 5. Ex-MLA P Srinivasa Reddy, too, will join the TDP at the rally, the sources said.
Mr Sridhara was also elected on PRP ticket in 2009. Mr Adala previously served as a Minister in Mr Naidu's Cabinet.
Date for formal entry of Mr Venkatesh and Mr Erasu into TDP has not been fixed yet, the sources said, adding it would coincide with another Praja Garjana rally in Kurnool district.
It will be a return to the parent party for Mr Venkatesh, an industrialist from Kurnool district, who had previously been an MLA from the TDP.
In the next few days, more MLAs from Congress in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions are set to switch over to TDP, the sources said.