Stage is said to be ready for the defection of former Union minister A Sai Pratap from Telugu Desam Party into the YSR Congress party headed by Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.
An indication to this effect came from Sai Pratap himself on Thursday. Speaking to media, he showered praises on Jaganmohan Reddy, describing him as a dynamic leader.
“I must appreciate his efforts to be among the people always and understand their problems. The ongoing padayatra will help him in a big way,” he said.
Apparently, Sai Pratap, a six-time MP from Rajampet parliamentary constituency in Kadapa district, has not been feeling comfortable in the TDP, ever since he joined it in March 2016 in the presence of TDP president and AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
He was hardly seen in any of the party activities in the district or Rajampet constituency.
In fact, Sai Pratap, was a staunch loyalist of former chief minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy and served as Union minister of state for steel and mines in the UPA government at the Centre.
However, after the division of the combined Andhra Pradesh, he had to leave the Congress party.
Though he was loyal to YSR, he did not receive much attention from Jaganmohan Reddy in the early days. The YSRC fielded Peddireddy Mithun Reddy in 2014 elections and bagged the Lok Sabha seat.
Sai Pratap hails from the Balija community, forming part of the Kapus, which has significant presence in Kadapa, Anantapur and Chittoor districts of Rayalaseema region. His entry will definitely help the YSRC to gain hold on the Kapu community.
However, it remains to be seen whether Jagan would replace Mithun Reddy with Sai Pratap in Rajampet LS seat or ask either of them to contest the assembly elections.