Hyderabad: The Congress party in Telangana is on the verge of losing its main opposition status in the state assembly with 8 of its MLAs defecting to the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in last one month.
These eight Congress MLAs are Atram Sakku, Rega Kantha Rao, Haripriya Naik, Ch Lingaiah, P Sabita Indra Reddy, D Sudhir Reddy, Upender Reddy, and Vanama Venkateswara Rao.
The defections have brought down the strength of Congress MLAs to 11 from 19 in 119 member-strong Telangana Legislative Assembly.
A party requires at least 10 per cent of the members in the House, which means that Congress party would need at least 12 MLAs to retain the status of the main opposition party.
The TRS had won 88 seats in the recently held legislative polls but it has since seen a slew of defectors joining the party, taking its tally close to a 100.
The Congress party has accused the ruling TRS of running the state in a feudal, undemocratic and unconstitutional manner, and of hatching a conspiracy to finish the opposition.
Talking to ANI, Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao said: “After becoming Chief Minister for the second time, K Chandrashekhar Rao is over-ambitious.”
“Even after having the absolute majority, KCR is giving bribe and taking the Congress legislators into his party,” he said.
“It is not fair in a democracy that KCR doesn’t want any opposition in the assembly. MLAs who are joining TRS are insulting democracy and voters,” he said.
However, TRS leader Abid Rasool Khan said: “Congress is in a disintegration mode. All the leaders of Congress party at the district level are leaving the party and joining TRS. Congress leadership in Telangana is weak.”
Telangana BJP blamed the Congress for its leaders defecting to TRS.
Krishna Sagar Rao, BJP spokesperson, said: “The Congress party is itself sinking. If someone is poaching the leaders of the party, it is because Congress is weak in the state. KCR can’t poach the BJP leaders.”