Telangana: Congress's Fate Hangs In Balance After 12 Out Of 19 MLAs Join TRS
In a major set back to the Congress in Telangana, 12 MLAs joined the ruling party Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Thursday.
The Congress could win only 19 out of 119 seats during the 2018 state assembly elections. Since the state assembly elections held in December last years, 11 Congress MLAs had unofficially switched to the TRS though they had not resigned from the party.
The number of Congress MLAs further reduced to 18 after Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president N Uttam Kumar Reddy on Wednesday resigned following his election to Lok Sabha from Nalgonda in 2019.
On Thursday, the number of dissenting members reached 12 after MLA P Rohit Reddy decided to join the TRS. Following which they went to the state assembly and submitted a copy of their resolution to Speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy.
Giving accent to the merger of 12 Congress MLAs into the TRS, the Assembly said in a bulletin, “…the Speaker has taken note that the said 12 members of the Congress Legislature Party, who constitute two thirds of its total members in the Telangana Legislative Assembly, are deemed to have been merged with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi Legislature Party in Telangana Legislative Assembly in terms of paragraph 4 of the 10th schedule to the Constitution of India.”
Accusing the speaker of disrespecting the sanctity of his office, PCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy said, “The Speaker hasn’t withheld the dignity of his office. We tried to contact him by every means but he wasn’t available for us.”
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Uttam Kumar Reddy on 12 Congress MLAs gave Telangana Assembly Speaker a representation to merge with TRS: The Speaker hasn't withheld the dignity of his office. We tried to contact him by every means but he wasn't available for us. pic.twitter.com/WBVITmaN2S
— ANI (@ANI) June 6, 2019
“The MLAs can announce breaking away from the party to form a separate group and then merge with the TRS,” Senior advocate of Telangana high court T Sriranga Rao told Hindustan Times, “Since they constitute two-thirds of the total party strength, they will not draw the provisions of the anti-defection law.” As per the anti-defection law, a party can merge with another party only if two-thirds of its legislatures are in the favour of the merger.
Reddy, stating that the Congress workers will be going on 26 hours fast on June 8, said, “We’re going to Telangana High Court tomorrow & if we don’t get sufficient remedy, we’ll go to Supreme Court. We’ll also be filing cases in the Lokpal with evidence of MLAs benefiting out of changing parties.”
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