Hyderabad: The indefinite fast launched by Congress legislature party leader M Bhatti Vikramarka, in protest against the "illegal" merger of 12 party MLAs with the ruling TRS in Telangana, entered the second-day Sunday. Vikramarka said the fast had been taken up to safeguard democracy.

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Several Congress leaders including party MP Revanth Reddy, met Vikramarka at Dharna Chowk here, the protest venue.A health check up was also conducted on Vikramarka, party sources said. AICC in-charge of Congress affairs RC Khuntia had alleged that the merger of the 12 Congress MLAs with TRS is "illegal" and "undemocratic".

Dismissing Congress' attack on his party, TRS working president K T Rama Rao had said there was nothing unconstitutional in what happened.He pointed out that TRS MLCs and MPs were admitted into the Congress in the past.

In a dramatic turn of events, Telangana Assembly Speaker P Srinivas Reddy on Thursday recognised 12 MLAs of Congress as members of TRS, hours after they moved him seeking merger of their group with the ruling party.

The Speaker acceded to the request of the MLAs considering the fact they constituted two-thirds of the Congress Legislature Party, a requirement for merger under the anti-defection law.

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The Congress had won 19 seats in the assembly polls in December last year, but in the past few months 11 of the MLAs had switched loyalties to the TRS though officially they did not resign. As the Congress strength has come down to six, one less than that of AIMIM, it may lose the status of the main opposition party in the 119-member House. (PTI )

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