Hyderabad: Congress MLAs who have defected to the TRS have stuck to their decision even after the High Court’s observations on the petitions filed by Congress leaders Uttam Kumar Reddy, Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and Shabbir Ali.
They say they are prepared to seek a fresh mandate if necessary, but believe they will not attract the provisions of the Anti-Defection Act.
They argue on two points. They said if 13 Congress MLAs (two-thirds of the total number of Congress MLAs in the House) passed a resolution to join the TRS there would be no disqualification because it would be considered a merger, which is permitted under the anti defection law.
Congress MLCs did the same recently and the chairman of the Telangana Legislative Council accepted the merging of the Congress MLCs into the TRS. The defecting MLAs said that they will also do the same to avoid disqualification.
Their other argument is how can they be disqualified when they have not joined the TRS? The defectors said that in their statement after meeting Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao and working president K.T. Rama Rao they never said that they are joining the TRS. They only said they were going "to work" with the Chief Minister for the development of the state.
One of the defecting MLAs said that in a democracy, the ruling and opposition parties should work together for the development of the state and for the welfare of the people, so what is wrong with their statement that they want to work with the Chief Minister?
In the ZPTC and MPTC elections, these Congress MLAs did not get the B form from the TRS in their names. They cleverly took the ‘B Forms’ in the names of their family members or close aides to avoid attracting the Anti-defection Act. The defector MLAs also said that if byelections were to be held, they would win on a TRS ticket.