Hyderabad: In a major embarrassment for the Congress party, 12 of its MLAs in the Telangana Assembly met the Speaker, Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, in a bid to merge with the ruling party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
The MLAs had met with the Speaker at his residence to submit a memorandum claiming the decision to merge with the TRS. The MLAs say that they took the decision to join the ruling party at a meeting of the Congress Legislative Party. However, the Congress State President, N Uttam Kumar Reddy, has rejected the decision.
Reddy said that the defector MLAs cannot claim to have convened a Legislative Party meeting without his permission. He also said that the Speaker should have disqualified the MLAs when the Congress had filed disqualification petition against them.
The Telangana Assembly was elected in December 2018. In the 119 strong house, the TRS emerged victorious with 88 seats followed by the Congress with 19 seats. TRS leader K. Chandrashekar Rao is currently the Chief Minister of the state.
Congress losing 12 of its sitting MLAs to the ruling party comes as a blow to the grand old party reeling under the humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha.
In addition, two Congress MLAs who had earlier defected from TRS have resigned from Congress to return to the ruling party.
Meanwhile, Congress leader V. Hanumantha Rao lamented that their MLAs were bought over like cattle.