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Defections: Congress MLAs Stage Dharna Before Assembly

Rattled by the surprising decision of two of its MLAs to cross the fence and join the TRS, the Congress has decided to hold a series of dharnas and protests.
Hyderabad | 3rd March 2019
Rattled by the surprising decision of two of its MLAs to cross the fence and join the ruling TRS, the Congress on Sunday convened an emergency CLP (Congress Legislature Party) meeting in the city.

The meeting was attended by 15 MLAs of the party.

However, two MLAs - Upender Reddy and Pilot Rohit Reddy - abstained from the meeting. The party leaders said that while Upender Reddy had informed the CLP leader that he would not be attending the meeting as he was sick, there was no intimation from Pilot Rohit Reddy.

The party has 19 MLAs in the Telangana Assembly. Of these, two MLAs, Atram Sakku and Rega Kantha Rao, said on Saturday that they would the party and join the TRS. They also released a letter to the public on the issue.

The CLP meeting expressed its strong protest at the defections that it said were encouraged by the TRS, and decided to hold a protest before the camp office of the Chief Minister, Pragathi Bhavan. It also decided to "teach a lesson" to the Chief Minister in the "court of the people".

Later, the party MLAs, led by CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and TPCC (Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee) president Uttam Kumar Reddy, held a dharna before the State Assembly and raised slogans against the TRS. They also raised slogans of "Save Democracy".

Addressing the gathering, Reddy alleged that Telangana Chief Minister and TRS boss K Chandrashekar Rao had come to power by committing several irregularities. He said that the Congress had thought that KCR would act as a statesman after becoming CM for the second time, but was proven wrong. KCR was resorting to cheap politics by encouraging defections despite the Congress acting graciously by extending support to the TRS in the election of the Deputy Speaker, Reddy added.

He also demanded that KCR disclose how much he had paid to the two Congress MLAs to buy them. He alleged that KCR had bought Congress MLCs too earlier, and said that the TRS supremo was making a mockery of democracy.

He announced that his party would hold dharnas on March 5 in the Asifabad and Pinapaka Assembly constituencies in protest against the decision of its two MLAs to join the TRS.

He also urged the Speaker to declare the two MLAs as ineligible to vote in the upcoming MLC elections.

CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka said that democracy was being "murdered" in the State by the political game launched by KCR. He said that the Congress would hold a State-wide discussion on the issue. He also said that all Congress MLAs would take part in a dharna to be held in the Pinapaka Assembly constituency on March 8.
filed in:  Telangana, Congress, Telangana Congress, N Uttam Kumar Reddy, Bhatti Vikramarka, Party Defections, KCR, TRS, Protests, Dharnas
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