Vikramarka, The Federal
Senior Congress leader M Bhatti Vikramarka along with supporters during his indefinite fast in protest against the "illegal" merger of 12 party MLAs with the ruling TRS in Telangana, in Hyderabad, Sunday, June 9. Photo: PTI

MLAs' defection: Cops foil Congress leader's fast-unto-death protest

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The city police on Monday (June 10) foiled the indefinite fast of senior Congress leader M Bhatti Vikramarka, in protest against the “illegal” merger of 12 party MLAs with the ruling TRS in Telangana, and shifted him to a hospital in view of his “failing health”.

Congress Legislature Party leader Vikramarka had on Saturday (June 7) launched his 36-hour fast, which was subsequently changed to ‘fast-unto-death’ at the Dharna Chowk here.

He has been shifted to the state-run NIMS hospital “in view of his failing health” and also for holding protest beyond the permitted time, police said.

Also read: Telangana MLAs’ defection: CLP leader Vikramarka launches 36-hour fast

“He had obtained permission for holding a 36-hour dharna and it was granted. But, he continued to hold the protest even after the permitted time. After getting him checked by a medical team, he has been shifted,” DCP (Central Zone) P Viswa Prasad said.

In a dramatic turn of events, Telangana Assembly Speaker P Srinivas Reddy on Thursday last recognised 12 MLAs of Congress as members of TRS, hours after they moved him seeking merger of their group with the ruling party.

The Speaker acceded to the request of the MLAs considering the fact that they constituted two-thirds of the Congress Legislature Party, a requirement for merger under the anti-defection law.

Also read: TRS defends 12 Congress MLAs joining its ranks in Telangana

The Congress had won 19 seats in the Assembly polls in December last year, but in the past few months 11 of the MLAs had switched loyalties to the TRS though officially they did
not resign.

As the Congress strength has come down to six, one less than that of AIMIM, it may lose the status of the main Opposition party in the 119-member House.

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