HYDERABAD: The 12 Congress MLAs who had recently defected to Telangana Rashtra Samithi on Wednesday said they would file defamation cases against TPCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy and Congress Legislative party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka if they ‘continue to malign their image’.
Speaking to reporters at TRSLP office on Wednesday, the 12 MLAs accused the Congress party of character assassination.
“We have joined TRS as per provisions in the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution. The Assembly Speaker too acted as per provisions in the Constitution. But Congress’ agitation (Save Democracy Deekhsa) is damaging our image in the public. If Congress leaders continue with this agitation and level baseless allegations against us, we will file defamation cases against them,” said one of them.
Pinapaka MLA Kantha Rao Rega said the people were aware of all political developments in the State. “We had differences of opinion with the Congress leadership and had decided to join TRS. We were unable to bear the group politics in Congress. There is no proper leadership in the party. Due to these reasons, we had no option but to join TRS,” said Kantha Rao. He added that since 12 our of 18 Congress MLAs (two-thirds of total strength) had joined TRS, they had only used their rights as provided in the Constitution.
“In the recent ZP elections, Congress failed to win even a single ZP chairperson post. This shows the faith people have in Congress’ leadership,” he said. He said the people were ‘laughing at Congress leaders’ for levelling false allegations against them.
The Pinapaka MLA said mergers of parties in the Assembly took place in Tripura and Goa as well. “There was no leader in the Congress that could assure us about the future of the party,” he said. Another leader, Bhupalpalle MLA Gandra Venkara Ramana Reddy, said they had tried to put their view forward to the Congress leadership in the past. “We made suggestions to the Congress leadership so that it could take corrective measures. But there was no change whatsoever. Finally, we had no choice but to join Telangana Rashtra Samithi We told them clearly that we would support the TRS government for its implementation of welfare schemes,” he said.
‘We’re not sheep’
Refuting the allegations made by Congress that they had been threatened by TRS and forcibly admitted into the party, Gandra said: “We are not kids to fear someone’s threats. We are not like sheep to be sold out. We not gullible for people to lure us. Congress leaders should not talk without evidence.” He warned Uttam Kumar and Bhatti Vikramarka that they would not sit quietly if the allegations continue.
He advised Congress leaders to introspect about their party’s condition and why it received a severe drubbing in all the elections in the State. “When my wife Jyothi resigned as DCC president and contested in ZPTC elections on TRS ticket she got a record 10,500 votes majority. This is an indication that the people accepted her decision and supported TRS,” Gandra claimed.
They bit the hand that fed them: Vamshi Chand
AICC member C Vamshi Chand Reddy on Wednesday took issue with the 12 Congress legislators who had joined TRS, calling them ‘rank opportunists’. Speaking to media persons, he said the MLAs had bitten the hand that fed them. “They became MLAs on Congress tickets and now they have deserted us,” he said, and found fault with CM K Chandrasekhar Rao for engineering defections. Reddy recalled how Rao, when TRS MLAs defected to other parties in the past, said such leaders should be punished in public. “Why is he doing this now, when he was clearly against it then,” he asked.
Shabbir confident of winning case in HC
Kamareddy: Senior Congress leader and former MLC Mohd Shabbir Ali on Wednesday said he was confident of winning the case he had filed in the High Court, against the merger of CLP with TRSLP in the Council. Shabbir Ali said when he had come to know about the merger, he made a representation to the Council Chairman. “But it was ignored. Now the HC has issued notices to the Chairman, secretary and ECI. This a slap on the government’s face,” he said.