KCR & Co. look to contain defections, disqualify turncoats after fifth MLA quits BRS to join Congress

Jagitial MLA, Dr M Sanjay Kumar, is the latest to join the ruling Congress party, a move that has surprised many in political circles as he is considered to be very close to the family of BRS supremo K Chandrshekar Rao.
Last Updated : 25 June 2024, 16:56 IST

Follow Us :


Hyderabad: In another jolt to the opposition BRS in Telangana, Jagitial MLA, Dr M Sanjay Kumar, is the latest to join the ruling Congress party. On Sunday, late in the evening, he joined Congress in the presence of the chief minister, A Revanth Reddy.

Kumar's move to join Congress has surprised many in political circles as he is considered to be very close to the family of BRS supremo K Chandrshekar Rao, especially MLC K Kavitha. Sanjay is the fifth BRS MLA to join Congress after last year's debacle of the Pink Party in assembly polls. Until now, Danam Nagender, Tallam Vrnkat Rao, Kadiyam Srihari, and Pocharam Srinivas Reddy have quit BRS to join Congress.

At least 15 more BRS MLAs are said to be in touch with Congress leaders and ready to jump the fence before the assembly budget session scheduled sometime after July 15. BRS is trying to stop the MLAs from leaving the party.

On Sunday evening, KCR had a meeting with Karimnagar MLA and former minister Gangula Kamalakar, who was also expected to join Congress. BRS is also contemplating a legal route to disqualify turncoat MLAs.

If Congress successfully engineers the merger of the BRS Legislative Party, the MLAs who had crossed over may escape disqualification bids. But for that to happen, Congress needs at least 26 of the 39 BRS MLAs to quit the opposition party.

“It has already been three months since Khairtabad MLA Danam Nagender joined Congress. The party has already consulted legal experts to bring his case to the Supreme Court. According to a Supreme Court order, the Speaker of the Assembly concerned should decide on the petitions moved against the MLAs for joining other parties within three months. The high court also has to decide within three months in accordance with paragraphs 30 and 33 of the Supreme Court order. When the party moves to the Supreme Court, it will also include all those MLAs who have crossed the floor and joined the Congress,” said a BRS leader.

On Monday, BRS cadres staged a protest at the residence of Sanjay Kumar for crossing over to Congress. “I didn't shift parties for my personal gain. I met the chief minister, A Revanth Reddy, seeking funds for my assembly segment, and he invited me to join Congress. I joined the ruling Congress for funds for my segment," Dr Sanjay Kumar told reporters.

If 2/3rds of the total MLAs of a party decide to merge with the legislature party, they don’t attract provisions of the anti-defection law.

Given the strength of 39 MLAs in BRS, it needs 26 MLAs to write to the assembly speaker seeking the merger of BRSLP into Congress. With already five MLAs in its kitty, Congress needs the support of another 21 MLAs to merge BRSLP.

Notably, BRS did the same after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Following the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BRS engineered the defections of the then-Congress MLAs.

In June 2019, 12 of the 18 MLAs in Congress requested that the Assembly Speaker merge the Congress Legislature Party with the then-ruling TRS Legislature Party. In the 2018 polls, the Congress had won 19 assembly seats, while the TRS had won 88 in the 119-member House. The number was reduced to 18 after then-TPCC chief Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy resigned from the Huzurnagar constituency following his victory in the Nalgonda Lok Sabha seat.

“The power of people is always stronger than the people in power. We have faced several defections of MLAs in the past, in 2004–06, when Congress was in government. Telangana responded strongly by stepping up the people’s agitation, and eventually Congress had to bow its head. History shall repeat itself,“ said BRS working president and former minister, K T Rama Rao, in a post on X.

Published 25 June 2024, 16:56 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us