BRS Defection row: KTR slams Rahul Gandhi; calls him 'Oscar-level actor' on protecting Constitution

KT Rama Rao said the BRS is gearing up for a legal battle against its defecting members and announced plans to file a petition in the Supreme Court.
BRS working President KT Rama Rao address a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.
BRS working President KT Rama Rao address a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.Photo | Shekhar yadav, EPS

NEW DELHI: After several of its leaders defected to the Congress, BRS working president K T Rama Rao on Tuesday slammed Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi saying he does "Oscar-level acting on protecting the Constitution."

K T Rama Rao (KTR) also said the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) is gearing up for a legal battle against its defecting members and announced plans to file a petition in the Supreme Court.

The move comes in response to a recent wave of defections that saw seven MLAs, six MLCs and one Rajya Sabha MP switch allegiance to the Congress party. "We will meet all those who are custodians of the Constitution," KTR, who is the son of BRS chief and former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, told reporters on Tuesday.

He outlined the party's intention to approach the Election Commission, President, Rajya Sabha Chairperson and Lok Sabha Speaker.

The BRS leader did not mince words in his criticism of the Congress, accusing the party of violating constitutional principles despite promising to amend the 10th Schedule to curb defections in the 2023 polls.

"On one side, Rahul Gandhi is flaunting a copy of the Constitution, while on the other, his party is disgracing it. He does Oscar-level acting on protecting the Constitution. You cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hounds," KTR remarked.

He also urged "all victims of the BJP and the Congress to come together to fight against defection."

KTR revealed that a petition against the defected BRS members is already pending in the Telangana High Court.

He noted that according to a 2020 Supreme Court order, the assembly Speaker has three months to decide on the status of the defected party members.

"If the Speaker does not do justice, we will knock on the door of the Supreme Court. We are here for the last two days consulting the legal experts," he added.

Asked about the BRS' own history of welcoming defectors during its 2014–2023 regime, KTR drew a distinction. "What we did was a merger, which is provided for under the Constitution," he said.

He also accused the Congress of introducing the defection culture in India, citing the 1967 case of Gaya Lal in Haryana that gave rise to the term 'Aya Ram, Gaya Ram' in Indian politics.

KTR attacked the Congress government in Telangana, claiming it had failed to fulfil its poll promises. "The Congress made 420 promises. The government completed seven months but not even one promise has been fulfilled," he said.

Reflecting on the BRS' recent electoral defeat, KTR acknowledged gaps in the party's connection with the voters. "We implemented many welfare schemes, but it seems we could not effectively communicate them to the people," he said, taking responsibility for the loss.

He noted that parties aligned neither to the NDA nor to the INDIA bloc faced defeats across the country, not just in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Responding to accusations of arrogance by the BRS leaders, KTR countered, "Don't read it as arrogance, but as our confidence."

Meanwhile, senior BRS leader Harish Rao predicted a BRS comeback, claiming that people are already comparing the current government's performance unfavourably with that of K Chandrashekar Rao.

KTR also pointed out that defections to the BRS during its rule did not benefit the party, as 12 defected members lost in the 2023 elections.

After the recent defections, the BRS currently has 31 MLAs in the 119-member assembly, 22 MLCs in the 40-member legislative council and four Rajya Sabha MPs.

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