Congress petitions Governor on TRS 'encouraging' defections of its MLAs

Congress petitions Governor on TRS encouraging defections of its MLAs

Congress also held an all-party meeting here on Saturday against the alleged defection of MLAs.

Hyderabad: Congress on Saturday petitioned the state Governor over the ruling TRS in Telangana allegedly encouraging defections of its MLAs and said it would also complain to the Lokpal on the matter.

"We request you to send the copy of our representation to the President of India and Union Ministry to impose President's rule by invoking Article 356 of the Constitution of India," the memorandum said.

Copies of the memorandum were later shared with the media.

"...Lok Pal has been constituted. This was an act passed by the UPA-2 government and I was the law minister to draft this... this will be the first complaint to be lodged there," senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily told reporters here.

The Congress' ire came in the wake of nine of its MLAs announcing their decision to quit the party and support TRS. Many among them said they would quit as MLAs and seek re-election, if necessary.

The party had won 19 seats (out of total 119) in the Assembly elections in December last year and the switchover of MLAs would reduce its strength to 11.

Congress also held an all-party meeting here Saturday against the alleged defection of MLAs.

On state Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy's charge that all the media statements of MLAs switching sides were similar and were drafted in the Chief Minister's office, Moily claimed it would be 'evidence' against the Chief Minister (K Chandrasekhar Rao).

"Uttam ji has already said that these are all drafted in the CM's office with same type-writing...same language. This will be substantial evidence against the Chief Minister.

He can escape today, but he cannot escape tomorrow or thereafter. He will have to suffer for this," he said.

"Of course, we have to be blamed for creating a Frankenstein like KCR in Telangana. We have done it for the sake of Telangana.... Not for the sake of KCR," he said, a reference to the creation of the state when UPA was in power.

The defections of the MLAs were a question of abuse of power, he said, adding that Congress president Rahul Gandhi was also concerned about the matter.

"But in a state like Telangana today, or even the BJP party by their operation Lotus... they have institutionalised defections," he said.

The government headed by Rao is "heralding anarchy and rule of law has been flouted," he alleged.

The senior Congress leader also said his party would like to amend the anti-defection law so that "courts will have teeth, the law will have teeth."

Those who commit corruption, abuse institutions and ultimately demolish democratic structures like legislatures would have to be seriously dealt with, he said.

The proposed amendment would apply with retrospective effect, also covering the "commission and omission on the part of the Chief Minister....", he said.

Moily said it was the "last warning" to the Chief Minister to act in accordance with the law and the "last request" to the Governor to evoke his powers to stop the "illegal act to sabotage and subvert the Constitution."

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