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K Chandrashekar Rao using defections to decimate opposition

Telugu Desam Party, which won two seats in the Assembly polls last month, is also perturbed over the rumours that both its legislators are being lured by TRS.

, ET Bureau|
Jan 22, 2019, 08.55 AM IST
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Rao is conspiring to decimate the Opposition before the Lok Sabha polls by forcing large scale defections, Opposition parties alleged, even as they tried to persuade their legislators from shifting loyalties.
Hyderabad: Telangana Rashtra Samithi president and Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao is conspiring to decimate the Opposition before the Lok Sabha polls by forcing large scale defections, Opposition parties alleged, even as they tried to persuade their legislators from shifting loyalties.

Close on the heels of four of its MLCs defecting to the ruling party, Congress suffered another setback with its popular leader Vanteru Pratap Reddy, who lost to KCR in recent Assembly polls, joining the ruling dispensation last Friday.

Congress suspects that TRS may lure at least two-thirds of its 19 lawmakers to defect and resort to merging into TRS legislature party, citing the comments of KCR. Apart from targeting the elected lawmakers of Opposition parties, the ruling party is also looking to lure many popular leaders of the Opposition who gave a tough fight in the recent Assembly polls and aspiring to contest in the general polls.

Telugu Desam Party, which won two seats in the Assembly polls last month, is also perturbed over the rumours that both its legislators are being lured by TRS.

“These are undemocratic acts of KCR in a bid to completely dissipate the Opposition from the elected forums to consolidate his family rule,” said TDP Telangana president L Ramana. “We hope our lawmakers will not succumb to the lures of ruling TRS and will continue to play the role of Opposition to fight against the government on behalf of people of Telangana.”

K Nageshwar, political analyst and former independent legislator, blamed the political system and public for entertaining and rewarding defections. “Unfortunately, ruling parties across India are trying to stifle dissent and decimate the Opposition. Victims of these defections in one state may be perpetrators in another state. The political immorality is all pervasive and sadly, people are not rejecting the defectors in the next elections.”

The predatory strategy of the TRS chief involves dealing a death blow to the Opposition parties, especially the Congress, at least weeks before the Lok Sabha polls, with the aim of smoothly sweeping 16 of the 17 Lok Sabha seats, said analysts.

“Despite the landslide mandate in the recent Assembly elections, KCR doesn’t want to take any chances and give any kind of scope to the Opposition parties to recuperate at any point of time,” said political analyst Manchala Srinivas Rao. “KCR had successfully adopted this predatory strategy in his first tenure as well, where he is known to target the Opposition leaders who could potentially emerge a bane. His statements indicate that he may dissipate the Opposition before the ensuing LS elections.”
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