Disqualify 16 rebel Andhra legislators: Congress

December 12th, 2011 - 10:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Telangana Hyderabad, Dec 12 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Congress Monday sought the disqualification of 16 rebel legislators who voted against the government during the no-confidence motion moved by the opposition last week.

Government whip Kondru Murali met Speaker N. Manohar Monday evening and submitted a petition urging him to disqualify the legislators loyal to YSR Congress party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.

Three former ministers — P. Subhash Chandra Bose, B. Srinivasa Reddy and Konda Surekha — were among the legislators who defied the party whip by voting for the no-confidence motion moved by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

The motion, however, was defeated with 160 lawmakers voting against it while 122 supported it.

The Congress submitted the petition for disqualification two days after the central leadership of the party gave its nod. Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy also discussed the issue with state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana and senior ministers before asking the government whip to initiate the proceedings.

The speaker is now likely to seek replies from the rebel legislators before taking action against them.

Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), whose 17 members voted for the government, has already petitioned the speaker seeking disqualification of Shoba Nagi Reddy for defying the party whip.

If all rebel members are disqualified, this will lead to by-elections in 18 constituencies. The by-polls for these seats may be held with seven other vacancies, which arose due to resignation of six legislators in Telangana and the death of one member.

If the Congress rebels are disqualified, this will reduce the party’s strength in 295-member assembly to 137. PRP has already merged with the Congress and once the merger process gets the speaker’s approval, the ruling party’s numbers will be officially bolstered to 154.

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