It seems like there's no end to the woes of the Congress party in Telangana. A day it was reported that senior Congress leader and legislator Sabitha Indra Reddy was defecting to the TRS, another Congress MLA Kandala Upender Reddy is expected to join the ruling TRS party. The Palair MLA met TRS working president KT Rama Rao in his office on Thursday, triggering speculation that he is joining the ruling party. With this, the tally of the Congress will reduce to 13 MLAs. The Congress had won 19 of the 119 Assembly seats in the 2018 state elections.
If the series of defections continue, the Congress could lose its official status as Opposition party. To maintain the Opposition status, a party needs at least 10 percent of the total number of seats in the Assembly, which is 12 seats in Telangana.
Five MLAs - Athram Sakku representing Asifabad, Rega Kantha Rao from Pinapaka, Banoth Haripriya belonging to Yellandu, Chirumarthi Lingaiah from Nakrekal and Sabitha Indra Reddy representing Maheshwaram have expressed their willingness to join the TRS party.
Sabitha Indra Reddy, former Home Minister of undivided Andhra, quit the Congress party on Wednesday and announced that she is joining the TRS. She took the decision to dump the Congress after her son Karthik Reddy was denied a seat to contest from Chevella constituency. Karthik had quit the Congress party two months ago, after he was denied the Rajendra Nagar Assembly seat. Besides seeking the Chevella seat, Sabitha also sought to be inducted into the cabinet. However, TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao did not give her any assurance about inducting her into the cabinet.
Sabitha Indra Reddy and Karthik Reddy will be welcomed in the TRS party formally at a meeting which has been scheduled in Chevella. According to KCR, 10 MLAs from the Congress are willing to join the TRS.