Telangana Congress alleged the ruling TRS was conspiring to strip it of its main opposition status in the state assembly through defection of MLAs, and make the AIMIM as the main opposition. State Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy said that they had complained to Governor ESL Narasimhan, when a delegation of opposition parties met him, about the TRS allegedly encouraging defection of its MLAs.
The complaint came in the backdrop of the announcement of 11 of the 19 Congress MLAs that they have decided to quit the party and join TRS. Reddy hit out at the TRS over reports that the ruling party was planning to enlist the support of two more Congress MLAs (altogether 13) and make them seek the merger of Congress Legislature Party with itself (TRS).
The MLAs, who switch sides, would not attract the provisions of anti-defection law if two-thirds of the total MLAs leave the party. “I will tell you the news I am hearing about this CLP merger. KCR (TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao) is conspiring to make AMIM as the opposition party in assembly by showing its strength as five per cent; by doing something to CLP,” Uttam Kumar Reddy said.
The matter concerned whether democracy should survive in Telangana or not, he alleged and expressed hope that the merger of CLP with TRS, as was being speculated, would not happen. Congress had won 19 seats in the 119-member House in the polls held in December last. Eleven of the 19 MLAs have already announced that they would quit Congress and join the TRS. AIMIM had won seven seats in the Assembly elections, while TRS had swept the polls winning 88 seats.
An independent and the MLA of AIFB have since announced support to TRS and TDP had won two seats, but one of them had also announced his decision to join the party. On its part, the BJP is represented in the assembly by a single MLA. Congress had petitioned to the Governor earlier on the TRS allegedly promoting defection of its MLAs and the Congress had said it would complain to the newly-formed Lokpal on the defection of MLAs.
TRS sources had Wednesday said their party is not making any effort to make two more Congress MLAs switch over or engineer the merger of CLP with TRS (as being speculated).
“We cannot say (if two more Congress MLAs would switch over to TRS). Otherwise, they will remain like that (without merger). We (TRS) are not making any effort for it, the sources said. (PTI)