Upendra quits Congress


Hyderabad : Former central minister P. Upendra Monday resigned from the Congress, alleging corruption in the country’s oldest party.

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In a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi, he said he was giving up the primary membership of the party and of the All India Congress Committee.

Upendra said he would join the Praja Rajyam party of actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi.

The two-time Lok Sabha member from Vijayawada had Saturday declared his intention to quit the Congress.

In a statement Monday, he alleged that he was more or less idle since 1999 as the Congress leadership did not use his services either at the national level or in the state.

Upendra alleged that money was playing a big role in deciding matters at the party and government levels.

“At the time of elections, ticket are sold for money. Many seniors felt suffocated and unwanted in the party,” he said.

Upendra joined Congress in 1994, after being expelled from the Telugu Desam Party. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Vijayawada in 1996 and 1998 but lost the 1999 elections.

He is the second senior politician to quit the Congress and join Chiranjeevi’s party. Another former central minister and veteran leader P. Shiv Shankar Saturday joined Praja Rajyam.

Shiv Shankar, who quit the Congress on the eve of the 2004 elections, also alleged that Congress was selling party ticket.