HYDERABAD: Operation Akarsh — Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s ‘game’ of getting Opposition leaders to defect — has begun yet again. In what has come as a rude shock to the Congress party, two of its MLAs, Athram Sakku (Asifabad) and Rega Kantha (Pinapaka), on Saturday declared they would join TRS soon. Sakku and Kantha said they wanted to work with the Chief Minister as it would aid the development of the State, especially tribal communities. Their defection will hurt Congress’ chances in the MLC elections dearly.
Earlier in the day, TDP MLA Sandra Venkata Veeraiah (Sathupalle) too called on Chandrasekhar Rao at Pragathi Bhavan. When he requested Rao to release irrigation water to Khammam and surrounding regions, to save standing crops in two lakh acres, the Chief Minister immediately instructed Chief Secretary SK Joshi to release the water. According to sources, the TDP MLA too is expected to join TRS before the Council elections.
According to sources, the TRS is also in touch with several other Congress MLAs as well. TRS leadership had already declared that around nine to 12 Congress MLAs are ‘ready to join the pink bandwagon’. There are bound to be more political surprises before March 12.
Congress MLAs Sakku and Kantha Rao recently met the Chief Minister at Pragathi Bhavan and discussed issues faced by STs and about development of their segments. “When we met the Chief Minister, he assured us that all the issues related to STs will be resolved soon. He assured us that he will tour in our segments and resolve issues of STs on the spot. We believe that the problems of Tribals will be solved under the leadership of KCR. That is why we have decided to extend our support to TRS and KCR,” Sakku and Kantha Rao said.
Both the Congress MLAs said that they would meet KCR again. “We are in touch with legal experts and are finalising the modalities for joining TRS. If necessary, we will resign as MLAs and contest again on a TRS ticket,” Sakku and Kantha Rao declared. Besides, the Congress MLAs said that a coalition government would be formed at the Centre after the Lok Sabha elections.
TRS is also trying to lure some more Congress MLAs to win all the five seats in the Council elections. Though, the TRS and MIM combine has the support of 98 MLAs, both of them fielded candidates to all the five seats. The game plan of the TRS is to make the Legislative Council ‘Opposition-free’.