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TPCC accuses KCR of ‘engineering’ defection of 2 MLAs

Hyderabad| The Congress in Telangana Sunday announced that it would wage a full-scale constitutional battle against Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, accusing him of ‘engineering’ the defection of two-party MLAs.

The announcement comes days ahead of the Legislative Council elections in the state.

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N Uttam Kumar Reddy said the party would stage a ‘dharna’ in Asifabad and Pinapaka constituencies on March 5 to protest against Rao’s alleged action.

He also said a complaint would be lodged with the Election Commission on the issue, seeking immediate disqualification of the two MLAs, Rega Kantha Rao (Pinapaka) and Atram Sakku (Asifabad).

Further, he said both the MLAs should not be allowed to vote in the MLC elections to be held on March 12.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders, MLAs and MLCs staged a dharna before the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Assembly premises Sunday to protest against what they alleged was the Chief Minister’s latest drive to make opposition MLAs defect to TRS.

In a party release, Reddy charged KCR with turning Telangana into a symbol of “oppression and injustice.”

It was “unconstitutional and unethical” for TRS to field the fifth candidate in MLC elections without having the required numerical strength, he claimed.

He demanded that both Congress MLAs be disqualified immediately and deprived of voting rights in the MLC polls.

By making two Congress MLAs defect to the ruling party, KCR has resorted to “cheap politics” and “smothered” democracy again, the release quoted Uttam Kumar Reddy as saying.

Accusing KCR of “murdering democracy” in Telangana, Congress leader Bhatti Vikramarka said the Congress would expose the “unconstitutional and undemocratic” practices of KCR across Telangana.

The two Congress MLAs had Saturday said they had decided to join TRS in the interest of development and welfare of STs.

They said they would consult legal experts and quit the assembly membership and seek a fresh mandate if necessary.

A TDP MLA from Sattupalle Sandra Venkata Veeraiah Sunday said he had decided to join the TRS in the interest of development of his constituency.

Veeraiah metChandrasekhar Rao on Saturday and urged him to release irrigation water to save crops in his native Khammam district which was accepted.

The strength of the Congress in the 119-member Assembly is 19 and it would come down to 17 with the decision of the two MLAs to join the TRS.

The TDP has two MLAs and would be left with only one legislator following Veeraiah’s decision to leave the party.

The Congress was banking on the support of the two MLAs from its grand alliance partner, TDP in the polls for MLCs to be elected under the MLAs’ quota.

However, its chances have now been dented with the decision of the three MLAs to join the TRS.

The Congress has fielded a candidate in the election (MLAs quota) to be held to fill five vacancies in the council.

The TRS has nominated four candidates, leaving one seat to its ally AIMIM.

The TRS’ strength is 88, with two other MLAs also supporting the party.

AIMIM has seven MLAs.

Another TDP MLA M Nageshwar Rao representing Aswaraopet segment dismissed rumours that he would join the TRS in the wake ofVeeraiah’s announcement that he would join the ruling party.

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