Congress and four members of TDP walked out of the meeting specially convened for the election. Mr. Goud polled three votes more than the required majority of 18 in the House which has an effective strength of 35. There are five vacancies.

TRS member K. Swamy Goud has been elected chairman of the 40-member Telangana Legislative Council after the Congress withdrew its candidate Farooq Hussain on Wednesday. The Congress and four members of Telugu Desam walked out of the meeting specially convened for the election. Mr. Goud polled 21 votes against zero votes polled by Mr Hussain.

The meeting was marred by jostling and heated arguments between the TRS and the Congress members. Congress member Mohammed Ali Shabbir almost manhandled his TRS counterpart P. Sudhakar Reddy and his colleagues snatched papers from Legislature Secretary and Returning Officer S. Rajasadaram, tore them and hurled the torn papers into air. Mr. Goud polled three votes more than the required majority of 18 in the House which has an effective strength of 35. There are five vacancies.

Interestingly, the deputy chairman Nethi Vidyasagar Rao, D. Rajeshwar and K. Yadava Reddy who is aspiring to be the chairman of Ranga Reddy Zilla Parishad with the support of TRS were among three Congress members to voted in favour of Mr. Goud.

Five other Congress MLCs and two each of TDP and teachers constituencies already extended their support to TRS. The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen with two members and the lone Progressive Democratic Front member K. Nageswar also supported Mr. Goud.

The election became necessary due to the bifurcation of the Council upon formation of the State. Mr. Vidyasagar Rao, the deputy chairman presided over the meeting. The Congress enjoyed majority in the House till five of its members crossed over to the TRS.

The meeting got underway on a stormy note with Congress floor leader D. Srinivas questioning the motive behind the election at a short notice even as a notice seeking disqualification of five Congress members was pending. He said the election was held to influence the results of polls for chairmanship of local bodies in the next three days.

Mr. Srinivas justified Congress fielding a candidate though the party opposed election stating that it wanted to be part of a democratic process. He took exception to Finance Minister Eatela Rajender addressing the House. Incidentally, eleven of the 12 members of the Council of Ministers were present.

The Legislative Affairs Minister T. Harish Rao denied any connect between the disqualification petition pending against Congress members and today’s election. If that was to be taken into account, why did the Congress field its candidate, he asked.