KCR on way to having no Opposition

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on March 12, 2019

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao   -  The Hindu

Hectic political activity in the past few weeks in Telangana indicate that the already thin Opposition in the State seems to be melting rapidly. Within 100 days of riding back to power with a brute majority, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao finds the Opposition legislators flocking to join his Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS).

The major loser is the Congress, which is facing desertions on a regular basis, with the momentum accelerating in the past week. The TRS won 88 of the seats in 119-member State Legislative Assembly in December last year. The Congress emerged a distant second with 19 seats. The AIMIM, ally of the TRS, won 7, while the TDP got 2 and BJP 1.

At least five MLAs from the Congress, including former minister Sabitha Indra Reddy, are known to have made up their mind to cross over to the TRS. . In that eventuality, the Congress will be reduced to 14 seats. The four others are Rega Kantha Rao, Athram Sakku, Chirumarthi Lingaiah and Banoth Haripriya Naik. One of the two TDP legislators has announced his decision to join the TRS.

The CM himself reportedly told the TRS Legislature Party on Monday that at least 10 Congress MLAs were keen to switch to the TRS. However, they would be welcome only if they resigned their membership and sought a fresh mandate, he added.

The meeting of Sabitha with TRS Working President KT Rama Rao and MP K Kavitha, gave rise to speculation in the political circles. Allegations spread that a Cabinet post was on offer. Incidentally, the KCR Cabinet has never included a woman and has faced criticism and demand to include one.

That the Cong was on a weak wicket became obvious when its State President Uttam Kumar Reddy announced the decision to boycott the polling for the five MLC seats in the MLAs quota scheduled for Tuesday. He said that with the CM himself encouraging defections, where was the sanctity left in the system.

The ruling TRS fielded four members, while its ally, the MIM put up one. With a minimum of 21 legislators required to win a seat, the Congress had no chance. The party issued a whip. Similarly, the TDP and the BJP too did not vote. Consequently, in the polling held on Tuesday, all TRS and MIM candidates sailed through easily. .

Published on March 12, 2019

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