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Stung by desertion, Cong seeks changes in anti-defection law

Press Trust of India  |  Hyderabad 

Rattled by the defection of a party MP and several MLAs into the ruling TRS in Telangana, Congress today said it would move the Centre and the Election Commission for changes in the anti-defection law.

"The anti-defection law has proved to be totally ineffective. Therefore, there has to be rethinking by the Government of India and all political parties so that a timeframe is fixed for the Speaker to take a decision beyond which we should have the provision to take the matter to the Court so that this 'Aya Ram Gaya Ram' (turncoats) situation, and public trading of elected representatives come to an end," AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh told reporters here.

He was speaking after a meeting of the Telangana Congress Coordination Committee, which, among other issues, discussed the defection of several Congress MLAs and party MP from Nalgonda, G Sukhender Reddy into TRS.

Sukhender, Miryalguda Congress MLA N Bhaskar Rao and lone CPI MLA Ravindra Kumar Ramavath today joined TRS here. In the last few months, over half a dozen Congress MLAs have joined the TRS. The Opposition party had won 22 seats in the 2014 Assembly elections.

"Recently, an MP and a Congress MLA defected to TRS. We have seen that KCR (Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao) is openly, sort of, in the business of trading of MLAs and MLCs and huge amount of contracts are being awarded to these people.

"They are blatantly going against the anti-defection law. Unfortunately, there is a basic fault in the law where the decision is with the Speaker. There is no time limit for him to take a decision (on disqualification petitions against those who switch loyalties)," he said.

Congress would take up the political fight with all those who switched loyalties and hold rallies in the Assembly segments represented by them, the former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh maintained.

He said the party cadre and those who believe in Congress ideology are still with the party.

Taking potshots at the TRS, Singh said the party-led government can distribute clothes to minorities during Ramzan, but it should also fulfill its promise of providing 12 per cent reservation to them in jobs and education.

Congress would also fight for the cause of those being displaced due to the construction of some irrigation projects in Telangana, he added.

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First Published: Wed, June 15 2016. 22:28 IST