In a major setback to actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi's party Praja Rajyam, party general secretary Prakala Prabhakar on Thursday resigned from the party and lashed out at its top leadership over the selection of candidates and style of functioning.
Prabhakar, a former Bharatiya Janata Party leader, was one of the first leaders to join the megastar's party. His resignation came after days of speculations that Prabhakar, the only Brahmin leader of the party, had decided to quit after he was denied a party ticket. He was also reportedly upset about the PRP leadership denying tickets to several candidates recommended by him, amid allegations that Chiranjeevi's brother in law Allu Arvind had sold the tickets for crores of rupees.
Prabhakar is among several top leaders of the party who have resigned in the last few days. Former state intelligence chief and retired Indian Police Service officer C Anjaneya Reddy, who was the founder vice president of the party, has also resigned. Speculations are rife that P Mitra, party general secretary and Chiranjeevi's advisor, is also planning to quit.
After the media started playing up the news of Prabhakar's resignation, a shaken Allu Arvind rushed to his residence to placate him. But Prabhakar refused to meet Arvind.
"PRP has turned into a poisonous tree and I have don't have the strength to uproot this tree. This tree is poisoning the state politics," the disgruntled leaders told reporters.
In a stinging attack on Chiranjeevi and the coterie around him, Prakala Prabhakar said that PRP had become a business house and he can not be part of the 'PRP company'.
"I have not taken this decision out of anger or rage but with a lot of pain and agony. There are inherent flaws in the party and no body can correct it," he added.
Continuing his attack, Prabhakar claimed that he failed to understand why the "PRP had been launched."
"The promise of change the party had made remains unfulfilled. The objective of the party seems to be completely different,"
Lashing out at Prabhakar, PRP's official spokesperson P Upendra said that he had quit the party because he had been denied a ticket. "We regret his resignation because he was a senior leader in the party. But we don't think it will weaken the party," he stated.