Defection of MLAs: Congress in Telangana to move HC

Hyderabad: The Congress unit in Telangana announced that the party would move the High Court on Monday regarding the defection of 12 of its party MLAs to Telangana Rashtra Samithi on Thursday.

Yesterday the party leaders said that they would carry out state-wide protest in against the Assembly speaker P Srinivas Reddy for recognising the merger.

An assembly bulletin on Thursday night announced that seats had been allotted to the 12 MLAs along with the members of the TRS Legislature Party in the House. The Congress is set to lose its Opposition status in the assembly unless the merger is reversed. Its strength has come down to six. Now, the TRS strength in the 119-member House with one vacancy has risen to 100, which includes the Speaker.

The Congress leaders alleged that the TRS has purchased the MLAs and that they would approach the Lokpal and also raise the issue in coming Parliament session. It is to be noted that there is already one petition pending in the high court in connection to defections of MLAs. Congress president Uttam Kumar Reddy said that on Monday, the party would file another petition and on 11 June the earlier petition will come up for hearing. The party was collecting evidence in support of its case to be filed before the Lokpal he further added.

Yesterday, Congress activists held protests on the streets across the State. Uttam Kumar Reddy announced that Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, the Leader of the Opposition in the assembly would stage a 36-hour-long fast from 11 am today apart from protests.

Uttam Kumar Reddy resigned as MLA following his victory in the Lok Sabha polls and the seat was declared vacant, the day after that Rohith Reddy joined the rebels. The MLAs have defended their move saying that they were joining the TRS for the development of Telangana.

“There is corruption involved in the purchase of MLAs and also the Speaker going to the residence of the Chief Minister is illegal. He as the Constitutional head, is not supposed to go the CMs house,” said Uttam Kumar Reddy said.

Congress General Secretary in-charge of party affairs in Telangana R C Khuntia, who was also present, said the issue of defections will be raised in the next Parliament session. The party will highlight how Vikramarka, a Dalit leader, was deprived of an opportunity to act as a Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly.

On the other hand, the ruling party TRS yesterday defended the action of the Congress MLAs, saying they have done so keeping in mind their political future and blamed the Rahul Gandhi-led party for failure to keep its flock together.

TRS MLC Satyavati Rathod said her party had won five of the seven zilla parishad territorial constituencies in the rural local body polls in Uttam Kumar Reddy’s constituency and claimed it showed people were not trusting the Congress party. A media agency also reported that a group of students of the Osmania University symbolically performed last rites of the MLAs who switched over in a way of protest.

NT Bureau