3 more Congress MLAs set to defect to TRS, party may lose opposition status
Nine Congress MLAs have announced their decision to join the ruling TRS in Telangana. Once they all formally join the TRS, the Congress would lose the opposition status in the state assembly.Updated: Mar 16, 2019 17:50 IST
The Congress in Telangana is all set to lose the status of opposition party in the state assembly following the defection of three more MLAs to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in 24 hours. According to a TRS leader familiar with the development, at least four more Congress MLAs are expected to join the TRS in a day or two.
Congress MLA T Jayaprakash Reddy, representing Sangareddy assembly constituency, held a meeting with his followers on Saturday and announced that he would join the TRS soon.
Earlier on Friday, Congress MLAs Vanama Venkateshwar Rao from Kothagudem and Devireddy Sudheer Reddy from L B Nagar assembly constituencies met TRS working president K T Rama Rao on Friday and expressed their desire to join the ruling party.
Sudheer Reddy told reporters that he had decided to join TRS as the ruling party had assured to extend all help in taking up developmental works in his constituency. “I will be meeting TRS president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in the next couple of days and formally join the party,” Reddy said.
Already six Congress MLAs – Atram Sakku (Asifabad), Rega Kantha Rao (Pinapaka), P Sabitha Indra Reddy (Maheswaram), Haripriya Banoth (Yellandu), Chirumarthi Lingaiah (Nakrekal), Kandala Upender Reddy (Palair) have announced joining the TRS.
Four other Congress leaders, who are expected to join the TRS, are Jajula Surender from Yellareddy, Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy from Munugode, Podem Veeraiah from Bhadrachalam and Beeram Harshavardhan Reddy from Kollapur.
The Congress won 19 MLAs in the 119-member assembly December 7 assembly elections and so far, nine MLAs announced their decision to join the TRS. As a result, the Congress strength has come down to 10. The party needs at least 12 MLAs to retain the Leader of Opposition status in the assembly.
Once the defectors officially join the TRS, it would be crossing the 100 mark in the 119-member assembly. However, the TRS is waiting for the defection of four more MLAs, so that two-thirds of the Congress MLAs would be leaving their party.
This would enable the defected MLAs calling for a legislature party meeting and resolving to merge their group with the TRS legislature party. This would shield them against the provisions of the Anti-Defection Law.
If the strength of the Congress comes down to six, it will no more be the main opposition party as its number would be less than the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen which has seven MLAs in the Telangana Assembly.
First Published: Mar 16, 2019 17:48 IST