In yet another blow to the Congress in Telangana, senior leader and legislator Gandra Venkatramna Reddy Monday night quit the party and announced that he was joining the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
Venkatramna Reddy is the 11th Congress MLA to switch loyalty since last month.
The MLA from Bhoopalapalli constituency, who, along with his wife, called on TRS Working President K. T. Rama Rao, later told reporters that he has decided to join the TRS as Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao is working hard to make Telangana the number one state.
Venkatramna Reddy is the first MLA to quit Congress after April 11 elections to all 17 Lok Sabha seats in the states.
With the latest defection, the Congress tally in the 119-member Assembly has come down to eight.
The Congress had won 19 seats in the Assembly elections held in December. With speculation that two more legislators are planning to quit, the number of MLAs leaving Congress will go up to two-thirds. This will pave way for the Assembly Speaker to recognize the merger of Congress legislators with the TRS.
Meanwhile, another Congress legislator T. Jayaprakash Reddy on Monday did not deny reports that he is also planning to join the TRS. “Time will decide whether I will remain in the Congress or not,” he said.