Hyderabad: Eleven legislators of Telangana Wednesday joined the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), bolstering its strength in both the houses of the legislature.
They include both members of the assembly belonging to Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and nine members of the legislative council.
BSP`s Indira Kiran Reddy and K. Konappa, five members of the council belonging to the Congress, two of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and two Independents joined the TRS in the presence of party chief and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao.
The Congress legislators are K.R. Amos, Jagadish Reddy, Bhoopal Reddy, Bhanu Prasada Rao and Rajalingam, while those of the TDP are D. Venkateshwarlu and Mohammed Saleem.
Amos is a senior leader of Congress party and his action along with four others dealt a blow to the main opposition party.
The chief minister said the legislators joined the TRS for the development of Telangana. He said these were not political defections.
He said leaders, irrespective of their party affiliations, were joining hands with him to achieve the goal of "golden Telangana".
Earlier, TRS general secretary K. Keshava Rao held talks with the legislators. Senior Congress leader D. Srinivas, who is heading the party in the council, tried to dissuade his colleagues but failed.
The TRS bagged 63 seats in the 119-member assembly in the recent elections to form the first government in Telangana. With the BSP legislators joining the TRS, the strength of the ruling party has gone up to 65.
The defections of Congress and TDP legislative councillors to the TRS will help the ruling party have its member as the chairman of the upper house of the legislature.