Two Cong and one TDP MLA to join TRS, Cong cries foul

Two Cong and one TDP MLA to join TRS, Cong cries foul

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telangana has re-launched its “Operation Akarsh”,  this time attracting two Congress and one Telugu Desam Party legislators into its fold. With the new additions, TRS strength rose to 93, in the 119 seat assembly. While Congress strength came down to 17 the TDP is left with only one MLA.

While the reaction from the beleaguered TDP is muted, the Congress decided to name and defame the turn-coats by burning their effigies all over the state. Congress MLAs Atram Sakku and Rega Kantha Rao represent Asifabad and Pinapaka constituencies and both belong to the ST community. On Sunday the MLAs declared that they will join the ruling party. TDP Sattupalli MLA Sandra Venkata Veeraiah has already met TRS Chief K Chandrasekhar Rao and expressed a desire to join the TRS.

The decision of the Congress MLAs to join the ruling party has a direct bearing on the MLC elections scheduled for 12 March. The TRS is contesting in four and gave one out of the 5 seats available under the MLA quota for friendly AIMIM party. Congress has only 2 MLCs and fielded another one. Congress must have 21 votes. It was hoping that it will rope in two TDP MLAs to secure a win for its candidate.

The two Congress MLAs in a statement have said that only KCR can address the problems faced by the STs in the state “We will meet with the Chief Minister soon. If required, we are willing to resign as MLAs and contest against from our constituencies as TRS candidates. We will consult with legal experts and decide on future course of action,” they said.

However, the TDP had big hopes on its Sattupalli MLA and even nominated him for the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) under Telangana quota. But the Andhra Government recently withdrew its nomination knowing the mood of the MLA. Veeraiah said that he wanted to join hands with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for development of Sattupalli constituency.

On Sunday the Congress Legislature Party staged a dharna in front of the state Assembly and denounced the development. “We demand how much KCR paid to purchase our MLAs. We are calling for statewide protests on 5 March against the admission of Congress MLAs into TRS,” TPCC Chief Capt Uttam Kumar Reddy said.