Former Indian cricketer Y Venugopala Rao took the political plunge and joined Jana Sena Party, founded by Telugu film star Pawan Kalyan. Rao, who made his ODI debut in 2005 against Sri Lanka, played 16 international matches in his short career. He also played in the Indian Premier League for various teams. He met the Jana Sena chief during the latter’s tour of Visakhapatnam and joined the party. Former chairman of BC Corporation Kona Tata Rao, industrialist Konathala Sitaram, educationist Mandava Ravi Kumar and many others also joined the party. Meanwhile, former MLA from Gajuwaka and a relative of the Chiranjeevi family, Chintalapudi Venkatramaiah is also likely to join the party shortly.
Speaking on the occasion, Kalyan said year 2019 would usher in a new political system in Andhra Pradesh as Jana Sena’s flag would fly high. “Jana Sainiks (people) are my strength and I will be at their service till my last breath. I supported the TDP-BJP combine in 2014 and did not contest the elections only to ensure stability (of the bifurcated state). I did not expect any political or personal gains out of it,” Kalyan said. He reiterated that the Jana Sena would contest all 175 Assembly seats in the State in 2019 and usher in a qualitative change.