Decision to be taken on three rebel TDP MLAs Members allege action was delayed to avoid by-polls ...
Decision to be taken on three rebel TDP MLAs
Members allege action was delayed to avoid by-polls
Hyderabad: The Speaker of the State Assembly, N Manohar, on Saturday disqualified 15 members belonging to the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) for having violated the whip during the no-confidence motion on March 16. This action comes on the eve of the second phase of the budget session beginning on Monday. The disqualified Congress members were: Alla Nani, G Ravikumar, P Ramachandra Reddy, Sujay Krishna Ranga Rao, Jogi Ramesh, Perni Nani, M Rajesh, B Sivarprasda Rao and D Chandrasekhara Reddy. Barring Ramachandra Reddy all others have joined the YSR Congress Party. The disqualified TDP members were: T Vanitha, P Sairaj, Y Balanagi Reddy, Kodali Srivenkateswara Rao, Amarnath Reddy and Praveen Kumar Reddy. The decision regarding three others -- S Venugopalachari, C Ramakotaiah and K Hareeshwar Reddy -- is still pending. These three leaders had supported the no- confidence motion moved by Telangana Rashtra Samiti and during the hearing claimed that they had not received the TDP whip. They also argued that the TDP had suspended them from the party long back and hence the whip was not applicable to them. The disqualification petition of another TDP MLA Gangula Kamalakar who had joined TRS recently is also pending. Manohar said the letter to disqualify Kamalakar was sent to him just three days back. With general elections less than a year away, there is no possibility of by-elections taking place. Election Commissioner HS Brahma has recently made it clear that the Election Commission would not hold by polls if the term of the elected members in these segments was less than a year. With 15 MLAs facing action on Saturday, the number of those disqualified has gone up to 34 which is considered a record in the State Assembly's history. In all, 19 MLAs, including 17 belonging to Congress party, were disqualified last year. The debarment will not cause any problem for the government even if the opposition moves a no-confidence motion. The total strength of the Assembly has now come down from original 294 to 278. The Congress party requires 139 members to defeat a no-trust move while it has 146 MLAs. Reacting to the disqualification, Telugu Desam Party spokesperson Varla Ramaiah said that the Speaker had delayed the decision. He should have acted soon after the party had given a letter to disqualify the MLAs. "Justice delayed is justice denied," he said. Describing it as a cowardly act, YSRCongress Party CEC member U Kalpana said that the Congress and the TDP had connived to delay the decision of the Speaker to avoid by-elections. Both Congress and TDP fear that they would draw a blank if elections are held at this juncture. "Though the MLAs had defied the whip much earlier, the Government dragged the issue and announced the decision only after the Assembly term has completed four years so that by-elections could be avoided. This is nothing but a cowardly act," she said. Congress MLAs Maddala Rajesh, D Chandrasekhar Reddy and Perni Nani alleged that the Speaker had delayed the process of disqualifying them for more than two months only to avoid by polls. "The TDP and the Congress colluded with each other and delayed the process, they said. However, the Speaker denied the allegations and said he had taken more than two months time to act against the rebel MLAs as he had to follow proper procedure and verify the claims of both the parties before delivering his verdict.