Hyderabad, July 14 (IANS) Telugu film actor couple Rajasekhar and Jeevitha Monday joined the ruling Congress and said they were ready to contest against superstar Chiranjeevi in the coming elections.
The couple enrolled themselves as members of the Congress in the presence of M. Veerappa Moily, who is in charge of party affairs in the state, Andhra party chief D. Srinivas and Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.
They joined the party on the first day of the state-wide membership drive formally launched by Moily at Gandhi Bhavan, the party headquarters here.
Later, talking to reporters, Rajasekhar said he was ready to contest against Chiranjeevi in the ensuing elections. The superstar is likely to launch a new political party next month.
'If the party directs me, I will contest against Chiranjeevi,' he said in reply to a query.
'We have joined the party to serve the poor. We have not come into politics for the sake of posts,' said Rajasekhar. He also plans to continue his career as film actor.
The actor couple drew closer to the Congress after Chiranjeevi's fans attacked a car carrying them and their children here in March. The fans were angry over the actor's statement he would not join Chiranjeevi's proposed party as he (Chiranjeevi) had no political experience.
Rajasekhar and Jeevitha joined the Congress a day after veteran actor G. Krishna called on the chief minister and decided to work for the Congress in the coming polls.
Krishna, a former MP, said he would continue to serve the party but virtually ruled out his son and popular actor Mahesh Babu taking a plunge into politics.
The Congress has been trying to woo Mahesh Babu and several other stars to counter the Chiranjeevi factor.
The assembly elections are due in March next year but could be advanced in the event of snap polls to Lok Sabha.
Both the Congress and the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) are worried over the impact Chiranjeevi's party could have on them. Some leaders have quit TDP and the Congress fears a similar situation.
By roping in film stars, Congress is also trying to counter TDP, which has enlisted the support of party founder late N.T. Rama Rao's actor-sons N. Hari Krishna and N. Balakrishna, grandsons Junior NTR and Kalyan Ram. They have decided to campaign for the party in the coming elections.