Withdraw from Rajya Sabha polls: Sonia tells Chiranjeevi

New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) chief Chiranjeevi Saturday sought two days time from Congress president Sonia Gandhi on her request that his party refrain from contesting the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls from Andhra Pradesh.

‘Congress president Sonia Gandhi (has) requested me to withdraw our candidate from the Rajya Sabha polls. I told her that I will discuss the issue with party leaders and get back in two days,’ Chiranjeevi told reporters.

The PRP has 16 legislators in the 294-member Andhra Pradesh assembly. The Congress has 156 legislators and, if there is no contest, it can win four Rajya Sabha seats.

Chiranjeevi, however, scoffed at speculation of a merger with the Congress and said the PRP will only have electoral adjustments with the party for the Rajya Sabha polls.

‘There is no question of merger. It does not arise,’ Chiranjeevi said after his 30-minute meeting with Gandhi.

Gandhi invited Chiranjeevi for a meeting in the wake of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajshekhar Reddy’s son and MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy openly challenging the party’s central leadership and deciding to go ahead with his planned yatra through the state.

The move by Jaganmohan Reddy, who still enjoys support of several Congress legislators and MPs, caused violence in the Telangana region.

The Congress also fears that legislators supporting Jaganmohan Reddy would violate the whip during the polls.