Hyderabad: In a big jolt to the Congress in Telangana, as many as 12 of its 18 MLAs were recognised as members of the ruling TRS by the Assembly Speaker here Thursday hours after they moved him seeking merger of their group.
Capping a day of fast paced political developments, 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.
A bulletin from the Assembly Thursday night said seats had been allotted to the 12 MLAs along with the members of the Telangana Rastra Samithi Legislature Party in the House. Unless the merger is reversed, the Congress is set to lose its Opposition status in the Assembly as its strength has come down to six.
With the merger, the TRS strength in the 119-member House with one vacancy has risen to 100, including the Speaker.
The Speaker’s decision came even as the embattled Congress cried foul, accusing the TRS of purchasing its MLAs and announcing its decision to move the court Friday.
The day unfolded with the MLAs meeting Reddy and giving him a representation for merger of their group after Rohith Reddy, representing Tandur constituency, became the 12th Congress legislator to jump the ship.
Rohith’s decision boosted the strength of the defectors to the two-third figure, thus insulating them from any possible action under the anti-defection law or the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.
“…the Speaker has taken note that the said 12 members of the Congress Legislature Party who constitute two thirds of its total members in the Telangana Legislative Assembly are deemed to have been merged with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi Legislature Party in Telangana Legislative Assembly in terms of paragraph 4 of the 10th schedule to the Constitution of India.
“Accordingly seats are allotted to them along with members of Telangana Rastra Samithi Legislature Party in the House,” the Assembly bulletin said.