BRS depleted by defections

Though a total of eight MLCs, including two nominated members, have so far left the pink party, it still remains the single largest outfit in Telangana State Legislative Council
Telangana legislative council building
Telangana legislative council buildingPhoto | Express

HYDERABAD: Political high drama unfolded on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday with as many as six BRS MLCs, including two nominated members, formally joining the Congress in the presence of Chief Minister and PCC president A Revanth Reddy.

The Opposition BRS had 29 members (including four nominated members) in the 40-strong Telangana State Legislative Council. It has so far lost eight MLCs, including two nominated members, to the Congress.

But the pink party is still the single largest outfit in the Council with 21 members, including two nominated members.

Telangana legislative council building
Revanth Reddy's midnight move: Congress poaches six BRS MLCs, more defections expected

Revanth Reddy, after his busy schedule in New Delhi, arrived in Hyderabad past midnight on Thursday. The BRS MLCs, who waited for several hours at a city hotel, reached the CM’s residence after his return from Delhi and formally joined the Congress around 1 am.

The BRS MLCs were in a hurry to defect to the Congress at midnight as Friday is a new moon day and Ashada Masam (Telugu lunar month), which is considered inauspicious, commences on Saturday.

The MLCs who joined the Congress were Baswaraju Saraiah, Thaniparthy Bhanu Prasad Rao, Dande Vithal, MS Prabhakar, Yegge Mallesham and Boggarapu Dayanand.

State Legislative Council chairman Gutha Sukhender Reddy’s son Amith has already joined the Congress. As the Council chairman post is an apolitical one, Sukhender Reddy did not join the Congress. Earlier, BRS MLCs Patnam Mahender Reddy and K Damodar Reddy joined the Congress. A few more BRS MLCs are likely to join the grand old party.

Cong needs 11 more MLCs to officially split BRS

But, as per rules, the MLCs who joined the Congress will continue to be BRS members in the records of the Council.

The Congress requires 11 more MLCs to officially split the BRS in the Legislative Council. The Congress has only four members in the Council. There are two vacancies in the Council under the Governor’s quota. If the Governor quota MLCs are nominated, the strength of the Congress will increase to six officially.

It may be recalled that six BRS MLAs have already joined the Congress. Besides its strength of 25, four MLCs in the Council were nominated during the BRS government.

Upset over the defections, a BRS leader recalled that when Congress MLAs joined the pink party in the past, Revanth Reddy, as an Opposition leader, wanted the people to stone the defectors to death.

Why is Congress focusing on Legislative Council?

Though the approval of the Council is not required for passing Bills, the opposition BRS may make an issue whenever the government introduces a Bill. The pink party may oppose the government Bills and may want the chairman to refer the Bills to select committee. To avoid such an embarrassing situation, the ruling Congress is trying to increase its strength in the Council.

40 - Total strength of the Council

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