Validating reports of a likely 'exodus' of legislators, including ministers, from the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh, state party president Botsa Satyanarayana today said about 30 were ready to cross-over to other parties.
"We have district-wise information about those who are seeking to join other parties. Only those who are weak-minded and those who have vested interests and a lust for power are trying to leave the Congress. It's only a matter of time," Botsa said, replying to questions by reporters here.
Saying that the exit of even one legislator would be a loss to the party, Botsa, however, maintained that the party would equally suffer even if 100 such turncoats stayed in. "That way, it is good for such people to leave the party," he remarked.
The PCC, however, warned that the turncoat legislators would not return to the Assembly in 2014. "People will teach such persons a befitting lesson," he added.
In recent days, there has been a lot of speculation that many of the ruling Congress MLAs, mainly from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, were ready to quit the party and join either the Telugu Desam Party or the YSR Congress.
BJP national leader M Venkaiah Naidu also claimed that some state ministers were seeking to join his party. These legislators were worried over their political future after the Congress' decision to bifurcate the state and the severe backlash the party has been faced with in the Seemaandhra region.
Some legislators of the erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party (now merged with Congress) were said to be readying to re-join their parent Telugu Desam Party. Some other Congress MLAs were eyeing berths in the YSRC.
Last week, MLA Rajanna Dora from Botsa's home district Vizianagaram joined the YSRC.
Former minister and senior MLA Dharmana Prasada Rao is also said to be jumping over to the YSRC.
Ex-minister and veteran MLA J C Diwakar Reddy has openly criticised AICC president Sonia Gandhi over the state bifurcation issue and has been served with a show-cause notice by the Congress. His exit from the party looks imminent though he has not made up his mind yet on joining the TDP or the YSRC.