The two Congress legislators, who defected to join the Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS), have accused the Congress of trying to bribe them ahead of the upcoming Legislative Council elections which are to be held on March 12. The two Congress MLAs, Athram Sakku and R Kantha Rao, alleged that the Congress MLC candidate offered Rs 50 lakh each for their votes.
The accusation comes a day after the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy challenged the Telangana Chief Minister, K Chandrashekar Rao to reveal what deal he had offered the two Congress MLAs that caused them to defect from the Congress.
In response, the two defected MLAs Athram Sakku of Asifabad and R Kantha Rao of Pinapaka Assembly constituencies issued a joint statement to the media, “The Congress offered money to its own MLAs. If we are for money, we should have continued in Congress. We have joined TRS for development.”
Sakku and Kantha Rao are MLAs from tribal constituencies and their defection has affected the chances of the lone Congress MLC candidate, Suduru Narayana Rao, winning the seat. The TRS is contesting in four seats and the MIM is contesting one of the total five MLC seats.
“We have informed that soon after joining the TRS we will resign from the Assembly and seek an election again. It is a shame that the Congress alleges that we sold out to the TRS. These statements damage the self-respect of Adivasis,” said Kantha Rao.
KT Rama Rao, the TRS working president, has defended the two defectors and told media that more defections could be expected from state level and grassroots level workers of the Congress. The former minister attributed the defections to the poor leadership at the state level.
“MLAs are not articles for sale in the market. By making such claims, the PCC chief hurt the self-respect of Adivasi MLAs”. The former minister pointed finger at the induction of former rival party leaders, such as Revanth Reddy, Konda Vishweshwar Reddy into the Congress.