Pro-Telangana party suspends legislators

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Old 21-Mar-2011
Pro-Telangana party suspends legislators

Hyderabad: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which is spearheading protests for a separate Telangana state, is facing yet another crisis with the suspension of three legislators for cross-voting in the legislative council elections.

TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao on Saturday night announced the suspensions after a marathon meeting of the party's politburo to discuss the action to be taken against them for allegedly violating the party whip.

Resignation submitted

Denying any wrongdoing, the legislators on Saturday night submitted their resignations as members of the assembly to the TRS president.

The party is likely to forward the same to Deputy Speaker Nadendla Manohar today for acceptance.

"We have decided to weed out these black sheep to protect the sanctity of the Telangana movement," said KCR, as the TRS chief is popularly known.

The party found that K. Vidyasagar Rao, K. Sammaiah and E. Ravinder Reddy did not vote for party candidate Mahmood Ali in the council elections on Thursday.

Ali was defeated as he polled only 11 votes. Though TRS has 11 members in the assembly, both legislators of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a rebel of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) said they voted in favour of Ali.

After checking the records, the TRS leaders found that three legislators indulged in cross-voting and reportedly voted for Congress candidate Ranga Reddy.

The cross-voting dealt a blow to the TRS image at a time when the Telangana movement has reached a crucial stage. KCR was under pressure from pro-Telangana groups to act against the "black sheep".

This is not the first time that TRS has faced this situation.

Ten legislators of the party indulged in cross-voting in council elections in 2007.

The TRS has seen many crises since 2001 when it was floated by KCR to revive the Telangana movement.

Credibility hit

KCR himself faced rebellion from 10 of the 26 legislators the party had in the previous assembly. One MP had openly revolted against his leadership.

The flip-flop by the party over its electoral alliances and the frequent resignations of its legislators and MPs to force by-elections also hit its credibility.

The by-elections in 2008 boomeranged as the party lost two out of four Lok Sabha and seven out of 16 assembly seats.

In 2009 elections, TRS could win only two Lok Sabha and 10 assembly seats despite an alliance with the TDP and the Left parties. Some key leaders of the party raised the banner of revolt and left the party.

However, the death of chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy in 2009 changed the scenario. The Telangana movement intensified with KCR's indefinite fast.

All 10 legislators of the party resigned last year to protest the central government's move to go back on its announcement on a separate state.

The party not only retained all the seats with thumping majority but increased its tally by one with a rebel TDP legislator getting re-elected on a TRS ticket.

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