Andhra speaker disqualifies 16 Jagan loyalists (Lead)

March 3rd, 2012 - 12:38 am ICT by IANS  

Meira Kumar Hyderabad, March 2 (IANS) Ending the long suspense, the Andhra Pradesh assembly speaker Friday disqualified 16 rebel lawmakers belonging to the ruling Congress party who were loyal to Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.

The speaker has also accepted the resignation of another Jagan loyalist Shoba Nagi Reddy of Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), which has now merged with the Congress party.

A statement about the disqualification was released from the office of speaker Nandendla Manohar Friday night.

Congress had sought the disqualification of the legislators for violating the party whip and voting in favor of opposition Telugu Desam Party’s no-confidence motion against the government in the assembly last December.

With the speaker’s move, 17 seats in 294-member house have fallen vacant. The election commission will now initiate the process to fill the vacancies by holding by-elections within six months.

Those disqualified include P. Subhash Chandra Bose, B. Srinivas Reddy and Kond Surekha, who had served as ministers in the cabinet of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

YSR Congress party has welcomed the speaker’s decision but reiterated its allegation that the speaker delayed the decision under pressure from Congress party to avoid by-elections to 24 assembly seats in one go.

By-elections to seven seats are scheduled to be held on March 18. These vacancies arose last year on account of resignations of six members including three rebels of Congress party and the death of one legislator.

YSR Congress party spokesman Ambati Rambabu alleged that the speaker’s decision at this juncture is aimed at depriving them of voting right in the next month’s elections to Rajya Sabha.

The disqualified legislators were among 29 members who submitted their resignations to the speaker in August last year to protest the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) naming of late YSR in the FIR against his son Jaganmohan Reddy in the alleged illegal assets case.

The speaker, however, rejected all the resignations and Congress also succeeded in winning back some of the legislators.

The assembly speaker’s move to disqualify rebels comes a day after Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar accepted the resignation of Member of Parliament from Nellore Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy, a Jagan loyalist.

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