Hyderabad: The 12 Congress MLAs in Telangana who recently joined the ruling TRS, hit back at the opposition party’s state leadership for its attack on them, saying their action was in accordance with the Constitutional provisions.
The Congress has alleged that they have been lured into joining the TRS, and has approached the High Court challenging their “merger” with the TRS Legislature Party.
MLA Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy, flanked by other Congress MLAs who joined TRS, said they joined the ruling party as per provisions of the Constitution.
“We, 12 MLAs, met Speaker on 6th of this month. It is clearly said in X Schedule of Constitution that if 2/3rd of MLAs wish, they can merge. Accordingly, we met the Speaker on 6th (of June) and gave a letter,” he told reporters.
“We requested the Chief Minister to admit us into TRS Legislature Party. As per that letter, Speaker allowed us to be admitted, for merger,” he said.
They did not join TRS till June 6, he said. He dismissed Congress leaders’ allegations that they have been lured into joining the TRS.
“Congress party leaders’ comments are surprising. (They say MLAs) joined after being offered inducements, purchased or out of fear. We are not kids to be made to fear. We are not the ones to fall for inducements. We are not sheep or buffaloes to be purchased,” Reddy said.
The decision was taken in the interest of development of their constituencies and people’s welfare, he said. The allegations of Congress are baseless, he added. Reddy said they would reply to the notices issued by the courts on the matter.
The 12 MLAs would not hesitate to file a defamation suit for allegedly indulging in their character assassination, he said. The Congress should introspect why it is failing in elections that took place since TRS came to power in 2014, whether it is elections to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), Assembly polls in December last year, Lok Sabha polls or the recent rural local body polls, he claimed.
He queried why several other Congress leaders quit the party and joined the BJP or other parties. The reasons for defeat cannot be blamed on EVMs as ballot papers were used in local body polls, he said.
Referring to criticism made by BJP leaders against them, Reddy said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the recent Lok Sabha campaign in West Bengal, said 40 TMC MLAs are in touch with BJP.
Two MLAs of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party merged with BJP in the aftermath of death of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in Goa, he said.
“BJP people here are also saying something. See (what happened) in Goa, Bengal, Tripura. So, there cannot be one rule for you and another one for us. I am reminding what the Prime Minister of India spoke during the recent polls. We took our decision as per Constitution,” Reddy said.
Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs
Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.
“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.
This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.
According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.
Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara
Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.
The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.
“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.
Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.
With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.
Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.
Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.
However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.
The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.
The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.