Hyderabad: Despite ominous signs that there could be further exodus of its MLAs to YSR Congress of Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh is not ready to accept that its government faced a possible threat in the near future.

"There is no threat to the Congress government and it will last its full term, no matter who stays in the party or leaves it and N Kiran Kumar Reddy would continue to be the Chief Minister," Deputy Chief Minister C Damodar Rajanarasimha asserted on Saturday.

He made these comments in response to reporters’ queries on the possible threat to government as two Congress MLAs switched over to the YSR Congress in the last two days and a few others were ready to follow suit.

The Congress has a wafer-thin majority in the 294-member Assembly with 153 members, including 16 of the erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party. Unlike in the past, the Congress cannot count on the support of the seven-member Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen as relationship between the two parties strained because of some recent incidents.

Separately, state Medical Education Minister Kondru Murali Mohan and Government Chief Whip Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy too sought to play down the issue saying the exit of "one or two" MLAs would not have any bearing on the government.

"Congress is a national party while YSR Congress is a sinking ship. Some people are conspiring to dislodge the government but there is no threat," Murali and Gandra remarked.

Eluru MLA Alla Krishna Srinivas and Bobbili MLA Sujay Krishna Ranga Rao joined the Jagan camp over the last two days extending solidarity with the Kadapa MP who was being grilled by the CBI in a disproportionate assets case.

There is talk that a handful of MLAs from the Congress as well as the Telugu Desam Party might jump on to the Jagan bandwagon at an "opportune time". The opportune time could probably come after June 12 when by-elections to one Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly seats in the state will be held.

(Agencies)

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