After failing to force of the Telangana Speaker to take action against the 12 Congress MLAs who defected to the TRS, the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) moved the Telangana High Court on Monday with a plea to suspend the merger notice issued by the Speaker P Srinivas Reddy. The High Court will hear the petition on Tuesday.
Last week, the Telangana Speaker had allowed the merger of the Congress Legislative Party and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Legislative Party in the Telangana Assembly after the Congress seat tally dropped from 19 to 8. The resignation of the TPCC President N Uttam Kumar Reddy on Wednesday paved the way for the defecting MLAs to achieve the two-thirds majority required to merge with the TRS.
In the plea, the TPCC sought the merger to be deemed illegal and contrary to the Anti-Defection Law under the Tenth Schedule and a violation of Article 324 of the Constitution on India. The petition, filed by MLA Bhatti Vikramarka Mallu and Uttam Kumar Reddy, made a request to the two-judge bench to hear the petition urgently.
In their petition, the Congress contended that merging the legislature party of one political party with that of another political party was the statutory duty of the Election Commission of India under the Representation of the People Act.
The leaders urged the court to declare that the Telangana Speaker exceeded the constitutional powers vested on him and has committed a jurisdictional error. The Congress also pointed out that the defection was not sudden as the 12 MLAs had earlier made their intention clear of joining the TRS, and yet the Speaker chose to proceed, without issuing a notice to the TPCC on the issue.