Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao rubbished Congress’ allegations over the merger of 12 of its MLAs with the ruling TRS as baseless and said it was done as per Constitutional provisions.
He advised the Congress leadership to introspect their party’s functioning as their leaders were leaving it across the country. Congress MLAs, led by floor leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, raised the issue during the discussions on various Bills introduced in the Assembly on Thursday. But, Speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy refused to allow the discussion, terming it as sub judice.
With the Opposition legislators not relenting, Chandrashekhar Rao slammed the Congress legislators for disrupting the proceedings. He cited examples of TDP Rajya Sabha members joining BJP and Congress members merging with the saffron party in Goa, with reference to the recent instances of Opposition members joining the ruling parties. “Why do you blame us? Why do they leave if you have leadership ability? Congress must introspect what is wrong with its leadership. If you cannot protect your legislators, it is not our problem,” he said.
The Chief Minister pointed out that the Congress legislators themselves went to court on the issue and it was not proper to speak any further as the matter was sub judice. He said due to the baseless allegations, TRS went for the Assembly election in December and won two-thirds of the seats. “But, Congress blamed it on EVM tampering. If that was the case, TRS won 32 Zilla Parishads and 83 per cent of gram panchayats in the elections held using ballot paper,” he asserted.
He explained that though some MLAs wanted to join TRS earlier, he refused the proposal. But, when there was a split in the party and they proposed to join the party again as per the Constitution, he could not refuse.
Earlier, the Congress MLAs attempted to create ruckus, but failed because only four of the six Congress MLAs took part in the protest. While Sangareddy MLA T Jayaprakash Reddy was absent, Mungode MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy chose not to participate in the protest even as the other Congress MLAs staged a walkout, alleging that they were not being allowed to speak.
Congress won 19 of the total 119 seats in the Assembly election held in December, 2018. While 12 MLAs merged with TRS, TPCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy quit after being elected to the Lok Sabha. Consequently, the strength of Congress came down to six.