Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy returned to the Congress fold today, four years after quitting the party.
Congress' communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala announced Mr Reddy's return to the party after the former chief minister met party president Rahul Gandhi at his residence today.
Mr Reddy, along with many of his associates, met the party chief and decided that they would work for strengthening the Congress, Mr Surjewala said.
AICC Andhra Pradesh in-charge Oommen Chandy, APCC chief N Raghuveera Reddy and former Union minister MM Pallam Raju were also present during Kiran Reddy's meeting with Rahul Gandhi.
Speaking to reporters after joining the Congress, Mr Reddy asserted that unless a Congress government comes back in Delhi, justice will not be done to the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
"Implementation of the Reorganisation Act, special status, special incentives -- all this will be possible only if the Congress comes back to power. The present Indian government, the state government and the opposition parties have failed miserably to implement the Reorganisation Act," he said.
Assurances given by the then prime minister Mr Manmohan Singh in Rajya Sabha should also be implemented in totality, he said.
Expressing his happiness on returning to the Congress fold, Kiran Reddy said he cannot be separated from the party because whatever identity he has got was because of the Congress.
Mr Chandy, welcoming Mr Reddy into the party said, "When he was the chief minister, he did many good things for the state, especially for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. He did a lot of things for the development of Andhra Pradesh."
Later, briefing reporters, Mr Surjewala said the Congress was committed to get Andhra Pradesh special status.
Asked if the Congress would support a no-confidence motion against the government over the issue of special status to Andhra Pradesh in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament, he said the decision will be taken by the Congress Parliamentary party.
Mr Reddy had quit as chief minister and the Congress in February 2014, protesting against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
His meeting with the Congress chief came following talks with the party's leaders over two months.
Mr Reddy, the last chief minister of united Andhra Pradesh, had floated the Jai Samaikya Andhra party after quitting the Congress. He fought the 2014 elections, but failed to make a mark.
Interestingly, Mr Reddy's younger brother Kishore Kumar joined the TDP a few months ago.