The ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh suffered a setback on Sunday as three of its MLAs quit the party to protest delay in formation of separate Telangana state and joined the TRS.
T Rajaiah from Station Ghanpur in Warangal district, Jupally Krishna Rao of Kollapur in Mahabubnagar district and Somarapu Satyanarayana from Ramagundam in Karimnagar district joined the TRS in the presence of party president K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Satyanarayana, an independent MLA, was an associate member of Congress in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.
The three have already submitted resignations from their posts in support of the separate statehood demand.
“The very purpose of resigning from Congress is to build pressure on the Congress high command and also on the ministers and MLAs of Congress from Telangana,” Krishna Rao told reporters here.
He hit out at the state ministers from Telangana region for not quitting their posts.
Welcoming the MLAs into the party fold, Chandrasekhar Rao said many more leaders were likely to join TRS.
“I am warning Prime Minister and also Sonia Gandhi. Not just these three MLAs, many others are ready to join the agitation, from all parties. Given the present strength of agitation, other parties will not have livelihood. If you want to safeguard your existence, keep the promise you made on December 9, 2009 (of forming separate Telangana),” he said.
Claiming that leaders from non-Telangana regions of all parties had united and submitted resignations to stall the formation of Telangana after the Centre’s announcement, the TRS president asked Telangana Congress leaders to join the agitation without further delay.
Dismissing the alleged rumour campaign by TDP leaders that TRS would eventually merge with Congress, he said the opposite appeared to be happening now.
“TRS would not merge with any party. TRS will emerge as the dominant political force in Telangana by winning all seats here and obtain separate state by dictating terms to Delhi,” he said.
Training guns on Telugu Desam Chief N Chandrababu Naidu, he said Naidu should move a no-confidence motion against the Congress government in the winter session of Assembly if he was sincere about fighting Congress.
The three MLAs said they were joining TRS with the belief that Telangana state could be achieved by participating in the agitation led by Chandrasekhar Rao.
The three Congress MLAs joining TRS is the latest in the switching of sides, against the backdrop of Telangana agitation.
Earlier, TDP MLA Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy had joined TRS.
He recently won the bypoll from Banswada. Another TDP MLA Gampa Govardhan too had joined TRS.
The strength of Congress in the 294-member Assembly was 155, and after 17 MLAs of Praja Rajyam joined it, it rose to 172. With the resignation of the three MLAs, it has now fallen to 169.
Reacting to the resignation of the three MLAs from the party, Andhra Pradesh Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana said it would not be correct to think that resignations would yield a separate Telangana.
“They might have done this for personal or political benefits. But it would not be correct to think that resignations would lead to the formation of separate Telangana,” he said.
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