Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, Sampath Kumar
Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, Sampath Kumar

Hyderabad: As soon as Telangana Speaker S Madhusudhana Chary expelled two Congress MLAs – Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and SA Sampath Kumar holding them responsible for the attack on the Telangana Legislative Council Chairman K Swamy Goud, there was intense speculation over whether by-elections would take place and if they do, how soon, for the two seats – Nalgonda and Alampur, which the two expelled leaders represented in the Assembly. 

Legal experts said the aggrieved parties have the right to approach the court and challenge the Speaker’s decision in expelling the two MLAs from the Assembly. As per the rule, the Speaker would have to inform the Election Commission about the expulsion of the two legislators from the House and the Commission will issue notification for the by-election. If the Speaker does not communicate his decision, the Commission will not issue by-election notification. 

The experts said the MLAs can get stay order from the court and prevent by-elections.  Generally, the Election Commission will not hold by-election to the seat, if the remainder term of the member is less than a year.

As per the schedule, the Assembly elections will be held in May 2019.  If the Speaker hastened the process and the member does not get stay orders, the Commission will issue by–election notification along with the Karnataka Assembly elections which are scheduled in May this year.  

Meanwhile, by-election fever gripped the ruling TRS party soon after the expulsion of two Congress MLAs  from the Assembly. Minutes after the two Congress MLAs were debarred from the House, ministers and MLAs thronged the chambers of the Speaker and that of the Legislative Affairs Minister T Harish Rao and enquired about the possibility of  by-elections taking place for the two seats.

The lobbies in the Assembly and minister’s chambers were bee hives of activity with hectic parleys occurring between ministers and TRS leaders. The officials of the Assembly Secretariat informed the ministers and legislators that the Election Commission (EC) will declare the two Assembly seats vacant once the Speaker forwarded his decision to cancel the membership of the two sitting MLAs in writing. As the Karnataka Assembly elections are scheduled in May, the TRS leaders are sure that the Election Commission will also issue notification for the by-elections simultaneously.  

The ministers said the party is ready to face the by-election in the two Assembly segments.  They said the by-poll will provide an opportunity to the TRS to expose the Congress party’s attempt to stall the government from taking up developmental programmes in the state. 

Source said that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has already entrusted Harish Rao to enquire people’s pulse in the two Assembly segments represented by the expelled legislators and monitor the political developments taking place from time to time.