Over the issue with Telangana Rashtra Samithi over the "illegal" merger of 12 Congress MLAs in Telangana with that party, the opposition Congress staged protests on Tuesday in Hyderabad and in other towns of the state. The protest was organized by the activists of National Students Union of India (NSUI), the student's wing of Congress, at Nampalli area in Hyderabad against the merger of the 12 Congress MLAs with the TRS and "forced" hospitalization of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader M Bhatti Vikramarka.
According to various reports, Vikramarka had started an indefinite fast at Dharna Chowk in the city on Saturday against the merger but eventually was shifted to a government hospital on Monday morning by the police in view of his "failing health" and also for holding the protest beyond the permitted time.
He called off his fast in the hospital on Monday following because of an appeal by state Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy and other leaders as they urged him to end the fast as his health was a matter of concern.
Uttam Kumar Reddy, also MP-elect, on Monday claimed that his party will seek an appointment with the President to take up the "illegal" merger issue with him, besides raising it in the Parliament.
Telangana Assembly Speaker P Srinivas Reddy on last Thursday recognized 12 MLAs of Congress as members of TRS, hours after they moved him, seeking a merger of their group with the ruling party. The Speaker accepted their request in the light that they constituted two-thirds of the Congress Legislature Party, a requirement for the merger under the anti-defection law.
The Congress had won 19 seats in the Assembly polls in December 2018. But in the last couple of months, 11 of them had announced their decision to leave the party and join TRS.
As Congress’ strength has come down to six, one less than that of AIMIM, the chance is that it may lose the status of the main opposition party in the 119-member House.