Telangana: Sleepless nights for MLC post aspirants in Congress

Congress leaders believe that some of the BRS MLCs have already lobbied with the leadership and ministers regarding the retention of their Council membership.
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Representative Image

HYDERABAD : Reports that several BRS MLCs are in touch with the ruling party to switch allegiance are giving sleepless nights to leaders in the Congress who have been aspiring to become members of the Legislative Council themselves.

These leaders had been hoping that they would get a chance when four to five vacancies under the MLAs quota open in March. To the consternation of these aspirants, among the BRS MLCs in talks with the Congress to switch loyalties are those whose terms will expire in March. Understandably, one of the conditions of these sitting MLCs to switch loyalties is renomination to the Council.

Congress leaders believe that some of these BRS MLCs have already lobbied with the leadership and ministers regarding the retention of their Council membership. This has raised concerns among the aspirants.

Congress insiders say that two MLCs who had been elected to the Council under the MLAs quota have more or less completed discussions with Congress leadership and may shift loyalties soon.

The Congress leaders who are aspiring for these quota MLC positions are upset and have even visited Delhi to complain about the issue. The Council has a strength of 40 members. The Congress currently has only six members in the Council—four elected on its ticket and two from BRS who switched sides. The BRS has 27 MLCs, BJP one, AIMIM two and there are two independents. Two seats under the Governor-nominated quota are vacant.

The ruling Congress is keen to secure a majority in the Council so that it can easily pass important Bills in the Upper House. To achieve this, the party plans to welcome BRS MLCs into its fold. However, this strategy has left Congress leaders fretting over their own chances.

Sources say that 10 to 12 BRS MLCs have more or less decided to join the Congress. These MLCs have met secretly at a residence of one of their colleagues and have communicated their demands and issues to the Congress leadership. Most of these MLCs are demanding renewal of their posts, while a few are requesting contracts and payments for works completed over the last 10 years in the infrastructure and other sectors.

The Congress leadership has reportedly assured these MLCs that it would bring the matter with the high command after the Cabinet expansion, most likely before the next Assembly session.

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