Will Congress axe its MLAs?
Vijayawada: With the no confidence drama getting over giving a sigh of relief to the ruling Congress, the leaders have now set their eyes on the rebel...
Vijayawada: With the no confidence drama getting over giving a sigh of relief to the ruling Congress, the leaders have now set their eyes on the rebel legislators from Krishna district. Two of its legislators have defied the party whip and voted against the government in the Assembly on which the party claimed that it would act tough. The two legislators, Perni Venkatramaiah (Nani) from Machilipatnam and Jogi Ramesh from Pedana have sided with the YSR Congress Party during the no confidence motion. While Perni Nani had quit the Government Whip post to support the YSR Congress Party, Jogi Ramesh is yet to make his stand clear on his political affiliation. Though Nani had quit his whip post, he is continuing as MLA and is covered by the party whip. Ramesh, who had given enough indications of quitting the Congress, did not make his mind clear on which party he would join, despite speculations that he would sail with the YSR Congress Party. Ending speculation over his switching loyalties to the YSR Congress Party, Jogi Ramesh took the no confidence motion as an opportunity to quit the Congress. The Congress leaders are upset the way Ramesh acted during the no confidence motion and they are firm on taking action against the legislator. They want that the action against Ramesh should be nothing less than disqualification as MLA. On his side, Ramesh is said to have grabbed the occasion to get an assurance from the YSR Congress Party on the Assembly ticket for 2014 elections. It is said that Ramesh wanted Kaikaluru Assembly segment in the next elections. The local MP, Lagadapati Rajagopal and MLA Malladi Vishnu have already demanded action against the legislators who have defied the party whip. However, there is a popular opinion that the ruling Congress would not go to the extent of disqualifying them as that would make the party to go for by-elections. The Congress is not prepared for another round of elections at this time when the local body elections are round the corner. However, a section of the ruling Congress leaders are ready for the by-elections as the party had already proved its strength in the just-concluded cooperative elections. It is to be seen how the Congress leaders act in the next two weeks when the State leadership takes up the issue with the Assembly Speaker in the next fortnight on the defiant legislators who caused discomfort for the party during no trust motion. Disqualification sought Meanwhile, the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) secretary Kolanukonda Sivaji has demanded disqualification of the two legislators for defying the the whip of Congress Party. Speaking to the media here on Sunday, Sivaji said that the two legislators had no right to continue as Members in Legislative Assembly. He alleged that the two legislators wanted to loot public money in the proposed land acquisition for Machilipatnam port, but the Chief Minister prevented those moves.