In mounting troubles for the Congress in Telangana, 12 of its 18 MLAs have deserted the party and joined the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
The MLAs were recognised as members of TRS by Assembly Speaker P Srinivas Reddy on June 6, the day they moved him seeking a merger of their group with the ‘pink’ party. Srinivas accepted their request since they constituted two-thirds of the Congress Legislature Party, a requirement for the merger under anti-defection law.
Following the recognition of the 12 MLAs as TRS members, the state Assembly issued a bulletin saying seats had been allotted to them along with members of TRS Legislature Party in the House.
What has happened so far
In December 2018 polls, TRS won 88 seats, while Congress emerged as the second-largest party with 19 seats.
The Congress strength in the assembly came down to 18 following the resignation of state party chief Uttam Kumar Reddy as MLA on his election to Lok Sabha.
Following this, 12 Congress MLAs met Assembly Speaker Reddy and gave him a representation for the merger of their group, which was accepted by him.
Consequence of the merger
With the merger of 12 MLAs, which was two-thirds of Congress lawmakers, the TRS strength in the 119-member House with one vacancy has risen to 100, including the Speaker.
The Speaker’s decision was slammed by Uttam Reddy who said Congress will move the Telangana High Court challenging it. He further alleged that Rohith Reddy, who was the 12th Congress legislator to jump the ship, was threatened by TRS leaders. Thus, unless the merger is reversed, the Congress is set to lose its Opposition Party status in the assembly as its strength has come down to six now.
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