Elections to 30 seats to be held during budget session
Rebel MLAs of the Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) may mar the prospects of official nominees for the elections to 10 Legislative Council vacancies from the Assembly.
If the rebels strike, the YSR Congress and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) could wrest one seat each in the Council polls. As many as 30 MLCs, including 10 elected by MLAs, will retire on March 29. Elections to fill these vacancies are slated to be held during the budget session of the Assembly which is due soon.
Botcha plays it down
An element of drama was added to the elections in wake of APCC president Botcha Satyanarayana’s statement that nine Congress MLAs, who are sailing with the YSR Congress, are treated as good as being expelled from the party. Mr. Satyanarayana on Monday tried to play down role of rebels in the Council polls, but it was apparent that the party leaders were worried.
Caught in dilemma
Their dilemma stems from the fact that candidates will be elected through secret ballot and the rebels may go scot free after defying the party whip.
In the House of 294, the Congress has 155 members.
Congress can win five seats on its own strength, but, these numbers are only on paper as nine MLAs could support the YSR Congress and two others could vote for the TRS.
Similarly, dissension is also becoming a matter of concern for the TDP as six of its 86 MLAs have been suspended.
If YSR Congress with 17 MLAs enters the fray, nine Congress and four TDP dissidents are sure to support the party. The MIM with seven members might also extend support to the YSR Congress in wake of its estranged relationship with the Congress.
The TRS (17 MLAs) too stands to gain if it whips up the statehood sentiment and garners support of other-like minded parties. If it woos the CPI (four), BJP (three) and two suspended TDP MLAs besides Independent member MLA Nagam Janardhan Reddy, it would be a mere formality for its candidate to win the seat.