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Congress takes to the streets in Telangana, slams KCR for 'encouraging' defection of 12 MLAs


Hyderabad, June 07: A day after 12 party MLAs, constituting two-thirds of its strength in the Telangana assembly joined the TRS, Congress activists hit the streets in various parts of the state protesting against their defection.

Demonstrations were held in Warangal, Karimnagar and other places with chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao coming in for attack for 'encouraging' defections, reports received here said.

File photo of K Chandrashekara Rao

A Congress release said a group of students of the Osmania University here took out a protest rally and performed symbolic "last rites" for the MLAs who switched over.

Talking to reporters, TDP polit bureau member Ravula Chandrasekhar Reddy said there should be a debate on the issue of such mergers across the country and also in Parliament.

12 Telangana Congress MLAs join ruling TRS, speaker approves merger12 Telangana Congress MLAs join ruling TRS, speaker approves merger

TRS MLC Satyavati Rathod, meanwhile, took exception to state Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy's attack on the ruling party.

"In Uttam Kumar Reddy's constituency, we got majority in parliament elections. Yesterday, we won five of the seven Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (in rural local body polls) in his constituency (rural local body polls)... That means, people of your constituency are not trusting you," she told reporters.

In a big jolt to the Congress in the state, as many as 12 of its 18 MLAs were recognised as members of the ruling TRS by the Assembly Speaker Thursday hours after they moved him seeking merger of their group.

Speaker P Srinivas Reddy acceded to the request of the 12 MLAs considering the fact they constituted two-thirds of the Congress Legislature Party, a requirement for merger under the anti-defection law.

Unless the merger is reversed, the Congress is set to lose its Opposition Party status in the assembly as its strength has come down to six in the 119-member House with one vacancy.

With the merger, the TRS strength has risen to 100, including the Speaker.

Uttam Kumar Reddy and other party leaders had held a protest in the assembly premises on Thursday in the wake of the MLAs joining TRS.

"This is completely illegal. KCR (TRS President and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao) is cheating the mandate of the people of Telangana," he had said on Thursday.


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