Hyderabad: In a major shock to the jubilant Telangana Congress which won three MP seats in the recent elections, twelve of its legislators on Thursday met the Assembly speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy and urged him to merge them with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the ruling party in the state.
The Congress party has 19 legislators in the 120 (119 and 1 nominated) seat Assembly. The move came after the number of legislators willing to quit the party rose to 12, just enough to break away from the Congress.
On Thursday, Tandur Congress MLA Pilot Rohit Reddy declared that he was joining the ruling party. He met TRS working president K T Rama Rao, along with 11 MLAs, at Pragathi Bhavan, the office of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. They reportedly had lunch together, then met Speaker Pocharam and submitted the letter seeking recognition as a breakaway group.
In addition to Rohith Reddy, the group includes Sabitha Indrareddy (Maheswaram), Jajula Surender (Yellareddy), Rega Kantha Rao (Pinapaka), Kandala Upender Reddy (Paleru), Haripriya (Illendu), Vanama Venkateswara Rao (Kothagudem), Chirumarthi Lingaiah (Nakirekal), Devireddy Sudheer Reddy (LB Nagar), Aatram Sakku (Asifabad), Beeram Harshavardhan Reddy (Kollapur) and Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy (Bhupalapally).
Agitated by sudden turn of events, the Congress leaders sat on a silent protest in front of the Gandhi statue in the Assembly premises.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president and Nalgonda Congress MP Uttam Kumar Reddy expressed his intentions to lay siege to the residence of KCR where the breakaway group was allegedly present.
Police took the agitating MLAs and senior leader V Hanmanth Rao into custody thwarting their efforts.
The breakaway group hastened the move after the number of MLA seats of the party came down from 19 to 18 after TPCC chief resigned as MLA after becoming the Member of Parliament. As a result, 12 seats form two thirds of majority.
After the merger the total number of MLA seats of TRS will rise to 103 from 91. The Congress legislature party with only six seats, will lose its opposition party recognition.