Congress stages protests after expulsion of its 2 MLAs in Telangana
Hyderabad: Congress party’s Telangana unit staged protests on Wednesday after two of its legislators were expelled from the assembly for reportedly injuring legislative council chairman Swamy Goud on the first day of the budget session. A day later, 11 other Congress MLAs were suspended.
The two expelled MLAs, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and S.A. Sampath Kumar, are currently on a 48-hour hunger strike in protest.
The Congress MLAs alleged that the governor was biased towards the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). Party workers burnt effigies of chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, and police took some protestors into custody. Congress state unit president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy claimed that Goud had faked his injury.
With this, Congress will have no legislators in the budget session. After winning 21 assembly seats in the 2014 elections, eight had defected to the ruling TRS. Now, the only opposition MLAs in the assembly are from the BJP (5) and Telugu Desam Party (2). The All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen, which has seven MLAs, supports TRS in most issues.
“While there was a proposal for all other party MLAs to also resign, there was no consensus on the issue. We have already moved the court for legal recourse,” said an office bearer from the Congress’s Telangana unit, unwilling to be identified.
Suspended Congress MLA K. Jana Reddy has written to the speaker of the Telangana assembly Madhusudan Chary demanding footage from CCTV cameras in the house.
Another party official Marri Shashidhar Reddy wrote to the chief election commissioner, Election Commission of India, terming the expulsion “arbitrary”. He said by expelling them and passing a gazette notification stating that those two seats have been vacated, the TRS is denying them their right to vote in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections for three seats (in which the Congress has put up one candidate) on 23 March. Reddy added that a delegation of Congress leaders will meet Election Commission of India officials on Thursday and requested not to declare the two seats vacant.