Two Congress legislators and one independent legislator supporting the party resigned from the party and the Andhra Pradesh assembly on Sunday, condemning the ruling Congress for its “betrayal of the people of Telangana”. By the afternoon, all three joined the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the party which is spearheading the statehood movement.
The legislators are former minister Jupalli Krishna Rao, who represents Kollapur in Mahboobnagar district, T Rajaiah, who represents Station Ghanpur constituency in Warangal district and S Satyanarayana, an Independent MLA supporting the Congress, who represents Ramagundam in Karimnagar district.
This is the first instance of Congress legislators joining the TRS. When the protest over statehood had last peaked in July, 33 legislators from the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and 41 legislators from the Congress had resigned. Eleven Congress MPs had resigned as well but the matter was finally resolved through talks. Of the 294 assembly constituencies, 119 lie in Telangana. The Congress and its allies have 183 seats.
Welcoming the MLAs to the party fold in the afternoon, TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao said, “Many more legislators from Congress and other parties will join the TRS in the coming days.”
“People feel the party betrayed them after promising to create a state in December 2009,” Krishna Rao told a news conference here.
Continuing as an MLA has become untenable in the wake of the people’s strike, said Satyanarayana.
Dismissing the alleged rumour campaign by TDP that the TRS would eventually merge with Congress, Chandrasekhar Rao said, “The TRS will emerge as the dominant political force in Telangana by winning all seats here and obtain a separate state by dictating terms to Delhi”.