With two more Congress legislators Vanama Venkateswara Rao (Kothagudem) and D Sudheer Reddy (LB Nagar) deciding to take a jump into the TRS, the number of defecting Congress MLAs went up to eight and the party has virtually lost its Leader of Opposition status.
Vanama and Sudheer called on TRS working president KT Rama Rao on Friday, but the latter asked them not to disclose till an official announcement is made. But Sudheer Reddy admitted to media that he had met KTR and was all set to join the TRS.
“I have decided to join TRS. KTR assured the development of LB Nagar Assembly segment including beautification of tanks, resolving the registration problems of LB Nagar colonies and property tax issues. I will be meeting the chief minister in the next couple of days,” Sudheer Reddy said.
According to party sources, ninth MLA Jajula Surender from Yellareddy is also expected to join the pink party, taking the number of defectors to nine.
Already six Congress MLAs – Atram Sakku (Asifabad), Rega Kantha Rao (Pinapaka), P Sabitha Indra Reddy (Maheswaram), Haripriya Banoth (Yellandu), Chirumarthi Lingaiah (Nakrekal), Kandala Upender Reddy (Palair), announced their entry into the TRS.
With these defections, the Congress party has virtually lost the Leader of the Opposition status. But the TRS is not satisfied with it. It wants to poach another four MLAs, so that the strength of the Congress comes down to six.
The names of possible four defectors that are doing rounds in the media circles are: Sangareddy MLA T Jayaprakash Reddy, Munugode MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy, Bhadrachalam MLA Podem Veeraiah and Kollapur MLA Beeram Harshavardhan Reddy.
It would mean two-thirds of the TRS MLAs would be joining the TRS. These 13 MLAs could call for a separate Congress Legislature Party meeting and take a decision to merge it with the TRS LP. This would be ensure that they will not lose their assembly membership.
Once the Congress number comes down to six, the party cannot get front seats in the assembly and its MLAs would have to backbenches!
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