In a huge setback for the Congress, Telangana State Legislative Assembly Speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy on Thursday gave a green light for the merger of 12 Congress MLAs into ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
“The Speaker has taken note that the said Twelve (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,” the speaker said in a notification approving the merger.
“Accordingly, seats are allotted to them alongwith Members of Telangana Rashtra Samithi Legislature Party in the House,” it added.
The 12 MLAs are Kandala Upender Reddy, Jajala Surender, Haripriya Banoth, Devi Reddy Sudheer Reddy, Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy, Chirumarthi Lingaiah, Kantha Rao Rega, Patlolla Sabitha Indra Reddy, Athram Sakku, Beeram Harshavardhan Reddy, Vanama Venkateswara Rao and Rohith Reddy.
The merger will come into effect from June 6, 2019, observed the Speaker.
As 12 MLAs account for two-thirds of the Congress Legislature Party, which has an effective strength of 18, they will not attract provisions of the anti-defection law, officials said.
With this, party position the 119-member Telangana Legislative Assembly is as follows:
Total - 118
The total strength of the House was down to 118 after Telangana Congress President and MLA Uttam Kumar Reddy was elected to the Lok Sabha from Nalgonda constituency.