Show-cause notices issued to the MLAs after they voted against the government

The stage is set for Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar to hear the disqualification petitions against 18 Congress and TDP MLAs, who defied the party whip during the no-confidence motion some time ago.

Notices have already been sent to the respondents to appear for hearing on Monday and Tuesday. The petitioners – Congress Legislature Party and the TD Legislature Party – will also make their case for disqualifying the rebel MLAs, who are either sailing with the YSRC or the TRS.

Show-cause notices were issued to the MLAs on March 31 this year after they had voted against the government during the no-trust motion on March 16. As many as 15 rebel MLAs are backing the YSRC, two others – K. Harishwar Reddy and S. Venugopala Chary – differed with the TDP on the Telangana statehood issue and are facing suspension. The third, TDP MLA Chinnam Ramakotaiah, has differed with the party leadership and abstained from voting during the no-confidence motion.

The Speaker is planning to hear the version of the rebel MLAs and record their statements. On the first day, as many as nine MLAs are expected to depose before the Speaker while the rest will be called the next day. The Speaker is planning to ensure that the legislature party representatives are also present to clarify and submit documentary evidence against the erring members.

The MLAs backing the YSRC have given in writing that they should be disqualified as they wilfully violated the party whip. They went to the extent of demanding that the Election Commission hold bye-elections. It is being speculated that three TDP MLAs are likely to adopt delaying tactics by raising issues like non-receipt of whip and lack of communication from the TDP leadership on the whip. But bye-elections to these 18 seats are unlikely as the Speaker may not announce his decision as some members may try to counter the contention of the legislature parties. It may be mentioned here that the Election Commission may not hold by-elections if the general elections are due in less than a year.

The MLAs summoned for hearing are: R.V.S.K. Ranga Rao (Bobbili), D.Chandrasekhara Reddy (Kakinada City), A.K.Srinivas (Eluru), Maddala Rajesh Kumar (Chintalapudi), Perni Venkataramaiah (Machilipatnam), Jogi Ramesh (Pedana), Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy (Punganur), Gottipati Ravi Kumar (Addanki) and B.Sivaprasada Reddy (Darsi) – all Congress MLAs.

The TDP MLAs are : P.Sai Raj (Ichapuram), P. Vanitha (Gopalapuram), Kodali Venkateswara Rao (Gudivada), N.Amarnatha Reddy (Palamner), Praveen Kumar Reddy (Thambalapalle), Y. Balanagi Reddy (Mantralayam), Chinnam Ramakotaiah (Nuzvid), K. Hariswar Reddy (Parigi) and S. Venugopala Chary (Mudhole).