Another round of by-polls to the Assembly may be inevitable provided the Speaker disposes of the disqualification petitions against the 18 erring Congress and TDP MLAs before May.

According to sources, if all the 18 MLAs, who are accused of defying the party whip during the no-confidence motion this month, file their responses on or before the stipulated 14 days time, the Speaker can pronounce his decision on the petitions.

Process may be delayed

But if the members seek extension of time to send their replies, the process may be delayed.

There have been instances when the presiding officer had given additional time to members to file their responses.

According to the Election Commission rules, any vacancy notified should be filled within six months.

But, clause 151 (a) stipulates that if the general elections are scheduled less than a year, there is no need for by-elections to the vacancies.

In this case, if the petitions are disposed of in June, by-polls to the 18 seats are unlikely.

It may be mentioned here that the 14 Assembly was constituted on May 19.

According to sources, the Congress and TDP leaders are reluctant to face by-elections in the near future.

RELATED NEWS

18 rebel AP MLAs served show cause noticesMarch 31, 2013