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Congress demoralised after losing 6 MLAs to TRS

IANS  |  Hyderabad 

With six MLAs crossing over to the ruling Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in the last 15 days, the opposition party in looks demoralised ahead of next month's Lok Sabha elections.

The series of defection by MLAs including senior and former has plunged the party in utter chaos in the run-up to April 11 polls for 17 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

At a time when leaders were trying to recover from the shocked defeat in Assembly elections held in December, the desertions have rattled the leadership and upset their calculations for the ensuing polls.

While the party's tally has come down to 13 in the 119-member Assembly, the TRS has further bolstered itself to achieve its goal of a clean sweep in the Lok Sabha elections.

K.T. has already started campaigning with an appeal to people to elect 16 candidates of TRS, leaving for its ally (MIM).

The ruling party, which won 88 Assembly seats, is eyeing eight more Congress MLAs to make sure the defectors do not attract disqualification under the Anti-Defection Law.

If two-third legislators of Congress party defect, it may be recognised as merger of (CLP) with TRS.

If two more Congress MLA switch loyalty, the party may lose the status of main opposition in the Assembly as the party requires minimum 10 per cent of the members in the House.

The Congress lost the status of main opposition in in December when four of its members defected to TRS. recognised their merger with the TRS.

With the strength of the Congress reduced to two in 40-member Council, lost the post of of Opposition. This was the first major shock for Congress after biting the dust in Assembly elections.

The defections of MLAs started on March 2 with two tribal MLAs switching loyalties to the ruling party. This evoked strong protest from the leaders of Congress party, who accused the TRS of engineering defections in view of the elections to five seats of the from MLA quota on March 12.

As 21 votes were required to win a seat, Congress had fielded a candidate, hoping to get both votes of its ally After defection of two Congress MLAs, one of the two TDP MLAs also crossed over to TRS, dashing all hopes of Congress.

Since then, the Congress has been losing a MLA almost every day. Jolted by desertions, the Congress boycotted the Council elections, accusing TRS of murdering the democracy.

The biggest jolt came when Sabitha Indra Reddy, a key from district bordering Hyderabad, met last Sunday at the residence of MIM

After preliminary talks with Rama Rao, she met his father and Minister on March 13, reportedly to bargain for a ministerial berth for herself and Lok Sabha ticket for her son

CLP leader has alleged that TRS was murdering democracy in by resorting to horse-trading.

TRS leader Rama Rao, however, said Congress MLAs were joining TRS on their own as they were impressed with the development and welfare programmes taken up by the government.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 15 2019. 18:12 IST