Hyderabad: Another former Congress Union minister, Kavuri Samba Siva Rao, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday in the presence of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Bhimavaram town of West Godavari district.

The businessman-turned-politician, who served as textiles minister in the outgoing United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, follows his former cabinet colleague D. Purandeswari, who joined the BJP in March.

The Union government’s decision to split Andhra Pradesh and carve out Telangana as India’s 29th state has not gone down well with the local population who say the concerns of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema have been ignored.

There has been an exodus of state-level Congress leaders to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress party. High-profile politicians Rao and Purandeswari, however, opted for a national party like the BJP.

Rao, however, will not be contesting the ongoing general election as the date for filing nominations has already passed. Seemandhra is scheduled to exercise its mandate on 7 May. Purandeswari is contesting from Rajampet Lok Sabha constituency.

The BJP has joined hands with the TDP in a pre-poll tie-up in Andhra Pradesh.

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