Revanth Reddy May Be The Lone Member For Telugu Desam
The opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is facing literal extinction in the Telangana Assembly as three more MLAs are said to have decided to join the ruling TRS. Already 10 TDP MLAs have defected to the TRS and are seeking merger of their legislature party with the ruling party .
The TDP that won 15 seats in the Assembly has already lost 10 of its MLAs to TRS so far.
While the names of Arekapudi Gandhi (Serilingampally), Maganti Gopinath (Jubilee Hills) and Sandra Venkata Veeraiah (Sattupalli) are doing the rounds as potential defectors, R Krishnaiah (L B Nagar) has chosen to be an Independent member rather than being associated with the TDP or joining the TRS. If this happens, then the TDP will be left with its floor leader A Revanth Reddy to carry the voice of his party in the assembly .
“Leave alone the three MLAs, the entire TDP including its village level committees are going to be merged with the TRS,“ said Errabelli Dayakar Rao, who was the TDP floor leader in the assembly before he switched over to TRS recently . Dayakar Rao said this formality would be completed at a public event to be held next month at the Nizam College grounds.
TRS sources close to the chief minister said that the three MLAs, including Gandhi, Gopinath, and Venkata Veeraiah, were likely to announce their next move even before the start of the budget session of the assembly , expected to commence on March 10.
Gopinath, however, denied the reports saying that he would continue with the TDP. “They are spreading these rumours as they are in two mind games. I will not leave the TDP,“ he said.
Krishnaiah, on the other hand, admitted to the fact that the TDP MLAs were in talks with the TRS leaders and defection was a possibility. As a matter of principle, he said that he would distance from both the TDP and TRS. “It looks like they want to be part of the ruling party to enjoy power. While it is against the democratic principles to defect, unfortunately the TDP has become irrelevant in Telangana. So, I have decided to distance myself from both TDP and TRS and continue my fight as an Independent,“ Krishnaiah said.
Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker S Madhusudan Chary is said to have been weighing legal options before deciding on a pending petition before him seeking the merger of TDP legislature party with the TRS. While a batch of petitions seeking disqualification of the defected MLAs too, are pending before him, the Speaker is studying the cases including the merger of TDP with TRS in the Legislative Council, which took place when five of the seven TDP MLCs crossed over to the ruling party last year.
“TDP-TRS merger in the Council is likely before us. While legal issues are to be taken into consideration before taking a decision, the Speaker will take an appropriate step at an appropriate time,“ said deputy Speaker Padma Devender Reddy .
Sources said that the Speaker was unlikely to take a decision on the merger petition before the budget session. He might allot the defected members seats among the treasury benches, treating them as associate members of the ruling party , the sources added.