PCC chief told his aides that there would be no threat to government even if the nine MLAs were expelled: sources

Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Botcha Satyanarayana was under fire on Saturday for his remark that nine Congress MLAs, who had switched their loyalties to the YSR Congress, were deemed to have been expelled for their anti-party activities.

Although, Mr. Satyanarayana did not name them, the MLAs minced no words in ridiculing him for his talk of expulsion. His statement also caused surprise in the party circle, with few leaders wondering the timing of such observation. Responding to questions on resignation of MLAs, Mr. Satyanarayana had said that those, who had selfish and vested interests were switching sides.

Congress MLA from Pedana Jogi Ramesh, whose name figures in the list of possible defectors, hit out at the PCC chief. “His statement is a clear case of conspiracy to unseat Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy. If the nine MLAs are expelled, how is the government functioning without a majority,” he questioned.

Mr. Ramesh himself drew angry reaction from Congress MLA K. Nageswara Rao, who accused him of trying to find an excuse to leave the party.

Party sources said the PCC president had made the statement knowing very well its fallout. He told his aides that there was no threat to the government at all, even if the nine MLAs were expelled.

Congress circles were of the opinion that if the nine MLAs were disqualified, the total strength of the House would naturally come down. In such a situation, it would be easy for the ruling party to scrape through the no-confidence motion moved by any opposition party.

At least four Ministers – N. Raghuveera Reddy, Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, V. Sunitha Laxma Reddy and Kasu Venkatakrishna Reddy – dismissed the talk that Congress government had been reduced to a minority. They said if the need arose, the Government would prove its majority on the floor of the House.

YSR Congress leader M. V. Mysura Reddy demanded that the TDP should move a motion asking the government to prove its majority failing which N. Chandrababu Naidu should openly admit that he is offering full support to the Kiran Kumar Reddy government.

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