TPCC stages dharna against defection of 2 MLAs to TRS

Hyderabad: Days ahead of the Legislative Council elections in Telangana, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N Uttam Kumar Reddy yesterday accused the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao of engineering the defection of two party MLAs to TRS.

The two MLAs – Rega Kantha Rao (Pinapaka) and Atram Sakku (Asifabad) – had on Saturday issued a joint statement that they had decided to join the TRS and had spoken about it to the Chief Minister.

A day after the MLA’s announced their decision, Reddy said a complaint would be lodged with the Election Commission, seeking immediate disqualification of the two MLAs and both of them should not be allowed to vote in the 12 March MLC elections. He also added that the State Congress would hold a protest on 5 March against the Chief Minister.

In a press release, Reddy alleged that KCR was turning the State into a symbol of oppression and injustice and had resorted to field the fifth candidate in MLC elections without having the required strength. “In his first term as CM, KCR gained notoriety for indulging in cheap politics. We expected that at least this time he would behave properly. But as against everyone’s expectation, KCR is again resorting to cheap and downmarket politics,” he said.

Congress leaders, MLAs and MLCs staged a dharna before the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Assembly premises on Sunday led by Uttam Kumar Reddy and CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka to protest against the Chief Minister.

A Telugu Desam MLA from Sattupalle Sandra Venkata Veeraiah had also on Sunday announced his decision to join the TRS in the interest of development of his constituency. He also met Rao the previous day and urged him to release irrigation water to save crops in his native Khammam district which was accepted.

The Congress has 19 MLAs in the House and it requires two more MLAs to win the MLC election from the Assembly quota. But with the defection of the Two MLA’s, Congress votes have gone down to 17. Following Veeraiah’s decision, the TDP is leaft with only one MLA. The TRS’ strength is 88, with two other MLAs also supporting the party. AIMIM has seven MLAs.

NT Bureau