In a jolt to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Telangana, one of its two legislators on Sunday decided to switch loyalties to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). Sandra Venkat Veeraiah said he was impressed with the development and welfare programmes taken up by the TRS government and hence decided to join the ruling party.
Veeraiah, who represents the Sathupalli constituency in Khammam district, told the media that he took the decision in tune with the wishes of people of his constituency and in the interest of the development of the district.
Elected from Sathupalli for a third consecutive term in the December 7 Assembly election, Veeraiah had called on Chief Minister and TRS President K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Saturday.
TDP had won only two seats in the 119-member state Assembly, both in Khammam district. Veeraiah's decision comes a day after the Congress received a huge setback with two of its MLAs deciding to quit the party and join TRS.
Rega Kantha Rao and Athram Sakku, both tribal MLAs, announced that if necessary they would resign from the Assembly to seek fresh election from their respective constituencies. Their resignations brought down Congress's tally in the state Assembly to 17, dealing a blow to the party's hopes to win at least one Legislative Council seat from MLAs quota.
Elections to six Council seats are scheduled to be held on March 12.
TRS, which had bagged 88 seats in the recent elections, has fielded five candidates and left one seat for its ally Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM).