Hyderabad, March 17 (IANS) The crisis in Telangana's main opposition Congress deepened further on Sunday with another legislator deciding to join the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
Vanama Venkateshwara Rao announced after a meeting with Chief Minister and TRS President K. Chandrashekhar Rao that he is joining the ruling party.
Vanama Rao, who represents Kothagudem constituency in the state Assembly, is the eighth Congress MLA to cross over to the TRS this month. This has brought down the opposition party's tally in 119-member Assembly to 11. It had won 19 seats in the December 7 Assembly elections.
With the latest defection, the Congress may now lose the status of main opposition in the Assembly as it requires at least 10 percent of the members in the House.
With reports of four more MLAs being in touch with the TRS, the defected MLAs may petition the Speaker to recognise the merger of Congress Legislature Party with the TRS.
If two-third MLAs of a party defect, they will not attract disqualification under Anti-Defection Law and can be recognised as a separate block.
Losing one MLA almost every day, Congress appear totally demoralised ahead of April 11 elections to all 17 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
The Congress has accused the TRS of hatching a conspiracy to finish off the opposition. CLP leader Malu Bhatti Vikramarka demanded dismissal of the TRS government, accusing it of running the state in feudal, undemocratic and unconstitutional manner. The party plans to meet Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan on Monday to submit a memorandum in this regard.