Party to discuss consequences of disqualifying 9 rebel MLAs

Congress party has adopted two-pronged strategy to seek disqualification of rebel MLAs and simultaneously begin exercise to identify alternative leadership to face the future elections at all levels.

To begin with, leadership will discuss threadbare the consequences of disqualifying the nine rebel MLAs, who voted against the government at the Congress Legislature Party meeting on March 20. Party legislators would be asked to give suggestions on strengthening the party in these constituencies.

The PCC president, Botcha Satyanarayana, told The Hindu on Sunday that CLP meeting would take a critical look at the anti-party activities of the rebel MLAs before a petition was submitted to the Speaker Nadendla Manohar seeking their disqualification.

The petition would be submitted only after the CLP meeting.

“We are not going to spare the rebels. We will appoint in-charges to galvanise the party cadre for the Panchayat Raj elections in the coming days,” he said. The PCC has convened a meeting of District Congress Committee chiefs on March 21 to take stock of constituency-wise activities.

The plan is to identify alternative leadership in constituencies represented by the rebels and seats held by opposition parties. “We intend to appoint one to three senior leaders from the respective constituencies as in-charges and coordinators,” Mr. Satyanaryana said.

He clarified that appointment of in-charges did not tantamount to these leaders being considered as the candidates for the next elections. Party has started searching for alternative leadership in Bobbili, Kakinada and other constituencies, whose representatives had defied the party Whip on Saturday’s no-trust vote.

No leaders appointed

In as many as two dozen constituencies, Congress MLAs had switched their loyalties to the YSR Congress since 2010 leaving the party set- up rudderless. In some constituencies for close to two years, the party leadership failed to appoint in-charges or coordinators.

Sources in the Congress warned that the move to appoint in-charges was fraught with risk. “If one leader is given full responsibility it could lead to heartburn among other local leaders,” a senior Congress leader observed.

Local leaders

To overcome this, PCC general secretary and Council Whip Rudraraju Padmaraju suggested that it would be better if a committee comprising six local mandal and district level leader was constituted for each constituency.

“By doing so these leaders will be made responsible for all activities till the next elections. It will also give feeling of collective responsibity,” he remarked.