Hyderabad: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Friday (June 7) defended the action of 12 Congress MLAs in joining forces with the ruling party in Telangana and stated that they have done so keeping in mind their political future, and blamed Rahul Gandhi who “failed to keep the flock together.”

The Assembly Speaker, Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, on Thursday (June 6) recognised the 12 defectors as members of the ruling party, hours after they requested him to do so, which was a big blow to the Congress.

TRS spokesperson Abid Rasool Khan claimed that the 12 MLAs decided to become part of chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao-led TRS because of the development and welfare programmes of the government and "positiveness" of voters towards the ruling party.

Speaking to media, Rasool Khan said, "Allegations of (Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president) N Uttam Kumar Reddy saying money-power, coercion or blackmailing (to win over these MLAs) just show the weakness of the Congress party which cannot hold their MLAs."

"These MLAs are not school children. They have told the media that they have made their decision because of the programmes, welfare, good governance and positiveness towards TRS," he said.

Khan alleged that the Congress has become "leaderless and rudderless and is disintegrating not only in the state but also all over the country".

The speaker, on Thursday (June 6), gave his nod for recognising the 12 breakaway MLAs of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) as members of the ruling TRS legislature party, because they constituted two-thirds of the total 18 Congress MLAs.

Unless the merger is reversed, the Congress strength in the assembly will come down to six and it will lose its status of the main opposition.

In December 2018, the TRS won 88 seats in the 119-member assembly in the elections. The AIMIM led by Hyderabad Lok Sabha member Asaduddin Owaisi bagged seven seats, while the BJP was victorious in one constituency.