Telangana Congress Could Lose Opposition Status Over Mass Exodus 

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Hyderabad: After speculations are rife that three more Congress MLAs could move to the ruling Telugu Rashtra Samithi (TRS), efforts of the Congress party to retain hold in the state in the ongoing elections is unlikely to bear any fruit.

If the three MLAs defect, than the Congress party could lose the status of the main opposition party as Assembly guidelines state that to have the stature of the major Opposition party, it must have 10 per cent of the total strength of the state assembly. This requires the Congress to have 12 seats.

In the December 7 Assembly elections, Congress had won 19 sets. Out of that 10 MLAs have defected to the ruling TRS.

They are: P Sabitha Indra Reddy, Harshavardhan Reddy, Atram Sakku, Rega Kantha Rao Vanama Venkateswara Rao, B Haripriya Naik, K Upendar Reddy, J Surendar and LB Nagar MLA D Sudhir Reddy. The MLAs have met TRS chief K K Chandrashekar Rao and party working president KT Rama Rao before the Lok Sabha elections in Telangana and announced their decision to join TRS.

MLA Jagga Reddy, P Veeriah and G Venkata Ramana Reddy are likely to join TRS on April 24.

After the 10 Congress MLAs switched loyalties, the party strength has come down to nine.

Meanwhile, TRS leaders have said that anti-defection will not be applicable once two-thirds of the 19 MLAs join the TRS.

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